The Eternals’ post-credits scene nearly featured an on-screen appearance from Blade played by Mahershala Ali. Even though MCU films are known for their intertwined nature, this fall’s The Eternals managed to stand on its own. Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao directed the film, which gave fans their first look at the series’ titular cosmic team in a saga spanning millennia.
The Eternals each have unique abilities to combat the Deviants, an evil alien race that preys on humans. Even though it focused on a single storyline, The Eternals set the stage for future MCU projects. Post-credit scenes for Eternals gave us a glimpse of Dane Whitman’s exciting future, as well as Blade’s first MCU appearance. Well, sort of.
Here, Dane first comes into contact with the Ebony Blade, which alludes to his future role as the Black Knight in the second post-credits scene. He hears a warning from Blade just before he touches it. In February of this year, he was officially cast as the MCU’s Blade, but his solo movie has yet to find a place on the release calendar.
Ali only appeared in The Eternals as a voice actor, not as a physical character. Marvel’s top brass disagreed, however, about whether the actor should appear in the sequence. Eternals producer Nate Moore revealed that the creative team considered cutting to Blade for the post-credits scene. However, they also decided a subtler tease was much more appropriate. He made the following statement:
“It was a choice and I’m not sure, I think if you polled people, we’d probably get 50% who said, ‘Man, we would love to see Blade standing in the corner of that room,’ and 50% who thought it’d be cool just to hear the voice. And it was something we talked about, but again for us, it’s just like, ‘Ooh, what will give you more goosebumps?’ is our goal.”
This snippet of Ali’s Blade was a big hit with the fans. This was so because they were able to decipher what Dane was saying. Considering that Black Knight is a vampire hunter himself, Blade represents the MCU’s more fantastical side. Due to their prominence in the MCU’s future, it makes sense for Blade and Black Knight to cross paths in the comics.
This is despite their lack of connection in the comics. Dane’s MCU journey began with Eternals, which also marked the beginning of Blade’s. To build anticipation for his first on-screen appearance, Marvel has only allowed his voice to be heard in the form of a narration.
Exactly when that happens is yet to be determined. The blade has made some progress this year, with director Bassam Tariq and writer Stacy Amma Osei-Kuffour. After all, the Eternals have hinted at Blade’s impending arrival, so a proper introduction should happen as soon as possible. The earliest Blade could debut in 2023. However, fans will have to wait and see what Marvel has in store for them.