I had completely forgotten that Mahershala Ali will be a huge landmark casting announcement on par with Simu Liu playing Shang-Chi, given that Ali will be the first Muslim actor to lead a Marvel Studios superhero film.

I think because he’s such a good actor playing varied characters we don’t normally attribute his religious affiliation with the roles he plays, but still, this is a huge win for the Muslim community and representation.

Well, I think it’s sort of interesting that Blade and Ali’s casting was announced at the very end of the Phase 4 lineup reveal and combined with recent comments from Kevin Feige hinting that Blade could be in Phase 5, I wouldn’t be terribly shocked if Blade ends up kicking-off Phase 5.

An in-house draft of a Blade script has been kicking around since at least 2013 and Aquaman director James Wan admits he was asked by Marvel Studios about directing a new Blade movie at one point. Actors like Idris Elba have admittedly talked with Marvel about the Blade role for years.

The meeting between Marvel and Mahershala is said to have taken place after his Oscar win, potentially before the Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox merger closed in mid-March.

It is possible that there might have been some parallels with the Black Widow hats and Ali’s Blade hat given that Widow will be kicking-off Phase 4, a tease that Blade will kick-off Phase 5?

While speaking with MTVNews, Kevin revealed they indeed have films planned up to 2024 and debated revealing their plans for both Phase 4 and Phase 5. Although, I have a feeling he sort of mentioned a couple of things from Phase 5 at the end of the presentation.

MTV: Last thing for you, are you already planting the seeds for the next crossover event if it’s Secret Wars or what.

FEIGE: “Uh, yes. We debated what we should announce today, should we announce [Phases] 4 and 5? We’ve planned them out we’ve got five years down the road and I was like ‘I think eleven projects in two years is plenty’.”

There is a good chance that Feige was already teasing the Phase 5 movie lineup on Saturday.

Blade

Black Panther 2

Guardians of The Galaxy 3

Captain Marvel 2

Fantastic Four

X-Men

If you look at the other movies mentioned by Feige that don’t seem to be any more ready to go than Blade at this point.

I have to assume since Black Panther 2 was revealed by Kevin that is only in the early outline stages and Guardians 3’s shoot is presumably delayed until 2021 (due to James Gunn filming WB’s The Suicide Squad), that with Blade having a lead hired the film’s lead has some sort of timetable set for production. I

Normally, how it works at Marvel is that a director and screenwriter/script exist before they hired a lead actor. I’m very curious if they simply hired Ali on the spot or have set gameplan already in place with a director and screenwriter developing a script.

I’m also willing to bet since Marvel wasn’t legally allowed to touch Fantastic Four and X-Men properties until mid-March when the merger closed, I doubt that they’re in any shape to happen anytime soon either.

I think what might end up happening because of the inclusion of the Disney+ shows the studio might end up rolling out Phases in a two-year burst, just like with Phase 4 being from 2020 to 2021.

 

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