Kevin Feige dropped a massive bomb towards the end of Marvel’s SDCC panel, announcing in front of the world that Mahershala Ali will be MCU’s Blade from here on out. For the last 3 years or so, we’ve been hearing rumors that Marvel wishes to do something with Blade and Wesley Snipes would make a comeback. But as Feige said on stage at Comic-Con, we literally heard no rumors about Blade in the recent times and Mahershala Ali’s addition to the Marvel family came as a major surprise!
Marvel started growing one step at a time. Until the first Avengers movie, what we saw was little steps that were being taken forward. By the time we reached Age of Ultron, we saw a big leap. Then came Infinity War and Endgame, which were both long jumps taken by Giant man! Now Marvel is in an ever expansive state as they are putting out 10 MCU projects in the next 2 years itself. Everyone is getting a solo project, and those who still aren’t are being given appearances in other projects.
We’ve got new characters coming in. There’s the older version of Monica Rambeau, Shang-Chi, The Mighty Thor, the Eternals, Red Guardian and Blade that have been confirmed for the next 2 years. But there are other characters which will join Marvel but haven’t been announced. Both Namor and Captain Britain had definite teases in Endgame and Nova was teased in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Other than them, Black Knight is highly rumored. The Fantastic Four and the mutants have been confirmed already.
The only confirmation that we haven’t got from Marvel is about the street level heroes, which are the Defenders! Marvel outsourced the Defenders to Netflix for the last 6 years. They cancelled every one of Marvel’s shows within the last year. Jessica Jones ran a third season recently, and then that show also got cancelled.
People have been hopeful that Marvel would continue these shows from where they were left on Hulu. But that may not be a possibility anymore. Marvel and Netflix had a weird contract which states that Marvel cannot start working with the Netflix Marvel characters until 2 years have passed after their cancellation on Netflix. So, in the next 2 years Marvel cannot even touch these characters, let alone develop any show or a film.
They are bringing us so much content in the next 2-3 years that people will have already forgotten about shows like Iron Fist, Luke Cage or Jessica Jones. Only the likes of Daredevil and the Punisher might still have a demand out there. But the one thing that has been confirmed with Mahershala Ali’s casting as Blade is that if these characters were to step into the films, they would be completely rebooted. This is because Ali has already played a character in Netflix’s Luke Cage.
He was Cottenmouth in Luke Cage season 1. Now Blade and Cottenmouth aren’t the same characters and Cottenmouth died in Luke Cage as well. So, this makes it clear that the movies wouldn’t acknowledge the existence of Defenders from Netflix. The likes of Daredevil, Punisher and other Defenders will have to be rebooted if brought on the big screen.
No matter how great Charlie Cox and Jon Bernthal were as Daredevil and the Punisher, they won’t be getting a chance to continue any more. There’s always a possibility of continuing these shows on Hulu, but why would Marvel. Sure they cannot talk about these characters right now, but 2 years down the line, when these characters will be fully in the grasp of Marvel once again, we’d surely see them bring these characters into the MCU. Even if, by a fluke Marvel does decide to use Jon Bernthal or Charlie Cox, these actors will have to play new versions of the characters they’ve already played. That might not happen. It happened in case of J.K. Simmons because his character wasn’t as big. It may even happen for Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool. But it probably won’t happen for the Defenders.
Shang-Chi has connections with Iron Fist, and Spider-Man has connections with Daredevil. So Marvel may want to bring fresh faces after they set up the entrances of Daredevil and Iron Fist. Let’s see what they do.