The upcoming slate of films for the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been officially pushed back by Disney following the delay of a number of Disney properties amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Black Widow received a new release date of November 6th of this year, The Eternals releasing in early February of 2021 and Thor: Love and Thunder being delayed to 2022 among other MCU release shifts. Marvel's Disney+ lineup has yet to be affected, although all production for this service, including the upcoming The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series, has been shut down until further notice, giving a heavy indication that these will be officially delayed eventually. The upcoming Blade previously did not have an official date locked in when it was surprisingly announced at last year's Marvel's Hall H event at Comic-Con, with the only detail being that Mahershala Ali would be taking on the role. However, a recent bit of insight may have shed some light on where Blade stands...
UPDATED*: Insider Charles Murphy believes that there's a likelihood that Blade will release on October 7, 2022, one of the "Untitled Marvel Film" release slots listed on Disney's schedule that they announced last year.
Marvel Studios 2022-23— Charles Murphy (@_CharlesMurphy) April 5, 2020
*It was initially incorrectly stated that Murphy had reported on the release date of "Blade". This has been corrected to state that Murphy was only speculating on the likelihood of the release date.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Blade had been the only film announced at San Diego Comic-Con last year to not receive an official release date. An October 2022 release would position it directly after the Captain Marvel sequel's release on the 8th of July 2022, allowing Blade to temporarily shift the MCU into a more fantastical avenue following Carol Danvers' sequel that will presumably have a heavy sci-fi focus. Blade's positioning as being amongst the other Untitled Marvel Films seems to reinforce Kevin Feige's statements of the film not being part of Phase 4, despite it being announced alongside other Phase 4 entries. There are currently five MCU sequels/threequels in a row set to release in the second half of 2021 and the start of 2022, so it makes sense that Marvel Studios is looking to fill this October 2022 slot with a movie like Blade that isn't part of their individual MCU franchises. This potential release date could also mean that Blade would headline Phase 5, indicating that the other "Untitled Marvel Films" will indeed succeed Phase 4 as opposed to bookending it. Despite more recent productions such as Black Widow and The Eternals being delayed, it seems that Marvel's distant plans for future projects will remain unaffected due to being so early into their development stages.