Warning - This article contains spoilers for Marvel's Eternals.
When a new Marvel film debuts in theaters or a new show streams on Disney+, fans aren't only invested in the story playing out on screen but also the overarching narrative of Phase 4 of the MCU.
Since 2008's Iron Man, Marvel has used post-credits scenes to lay the groundwork for what's to come and even to introduce new characters, and while both of Marvel's Eternals post-credits scenes did just, they also left fans with more questions than answers.
The film's second post-credits scene, in particular, focused on Kit Harington's Dane Whitman who's expected to become Marvel's Black Knight. As he goes to touch the Ebony Blade, a voice off-screen asks, "Sure you're ready for that, Mr. Whitman?" before the scene cuts to black.
For fans who left the theater questioning where Whitman's Black Knight fits into Marvel's upcoming slate and who that off-screen voice was, Eternals director Chloe Zhao has an answer.
Eternals Spoilery Post-Credits Cameo
According to Fandom, Eternals director Chloe Zhao confirmed that the off-camera voice Dane Whitman hears in that second post-credits scene was actually Mahershala Ali, who's set to star in Marvel's upcoming reboot of Blade.
When Zhao was asked to confirm suspicions that the voice was, in fact, Mahershala's, the director responded by saying, “That was the voice of one of my favorite superheroes, Mr. Blade himself. Blade, Blade, Blade, yeah!”
A Blade reboot with Academy Award-winner Mahershala Ali as the title character was first announced during 2019's San Diego Comic-Con, and while filming has been delayed until summer 2022, fans know that Blade is being written by Stacy Osei-Kuffour with Bassam Bariq confirmed to direct.
Zhao had a few other things to say about the future vampire flick, telling viewers, "You just have to wait for it. I don't know what they're doing with the movie, but Mahershala is a treasure. It's going to be epic.”
Kit Harington, who is technically the first in the MCU to encounter the new character, admitted he was unaware of what Marvel had planned for that scene when it was shot. However, when Zhao later filled him in, he claimed that the news "sort of blew my mind:"
“It's really cool. [Chloé] texted me about that a couple of weeks ago and it sort of blew my mind. I didn't know that that would be the case, so it's pretty exciting for me.”
While the character of Dane Whitman had only a minor role in Eternals, most Marvel fans knew the film was laying the foundation for his own character's story, which apparently is also connected to Ali's Blade.
According to Harington, he hoped from the start for "some cool possibilities for the future" and was glad Eternals served as his entrance into the MCU:
“I came into this knowing that there would be, hopefully, some cool possibilities for the future and also looking at the character and responding to the character as I saw it on every level, in every platform. So yeah, this is a great intro into the Marvel world and I'm just very happy that this movie is the one that I got to do it in.”
Future of the Black Knight & Blade in the MCU?
While it's apparent that Dane Whitman's Black Knight has a connection to the MCU's new vampire, just when and where the two will appear next is up for debate.
Much to the disappointment of the Marvel fan base, the studio recently released an updated release calendar which delayed a number of upcoming projects; and even though Blade was announced back in 2019, it still hasn't received a confirmed release slot.
Still, the fact that Marvel introduced the character in Eternals implies that the project may be further ahead than it appears. Also, it's worth noting that a third untitled Marvel movie, which was set to release on November 10, 2023, has been moved up to November 3, 2023. Perhaps this slot belongs to the long-awaited Blade solo film?
In addition, there have been rumors suggesting Blade could appear in Marvel's Moon Knight Disney+ series which is expected to debut in 2022, meaning fans could actually see him - and Dane Whitman again - in that story.
Since Ali's cameo is no longer a secret, it's possible that Marvel fans will learn more about the studio's plans for both characters on Disney Plus Day on November 12, 2021 or in the near future.
Marvel's Eternals is currently playing in theaters.