The Marvel Cinematic Universe is best known for taking bold risks, and this particular trait of the franchise is being pushed to the forefront in Phase 4. After mainly focusing on films throughout the Infinity Saga, Marvel Studios is now embracing the small screen by introducing several shows on Disney+ that heavily connect to big-screen features.
Another key development for the studio is the arrival of an R-Rated property in the form of Deadpool 3, marking the first time that this kind of project will be included in the MCU's lineup. Given that Deadpool 3 will carry over elements from Fox, the R-rating was a necessary inclusion, but this raised the question of whether or not other upcoming projects will receive the same treatment.
A good example is Blade. As part of the shocking announcement from 2019's San Diego Comic-Con, the film's premise of including supernatural monsters and horror elements creates a window of opportunity for Marvel to infuse it with R-Rated content.
However, based on the latest comment from the president of Marvel Studios, it looks like this rating will not happen anytime soon for the project.
DEADPOOL 3 IS THE MCU'S LONE R-RATED PROJECT
Aaron Couch of The Hollywood Reporter shared that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige admitted that there are still no plans to explore R-rated content for the MCU other than Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool 3.
If there is a story that requires an R-rating, the Marvel chief pointed out that they would still be open to discuss it behind-the-scenes.
Feige says other than #Deadpool3, there are still no plans to explore R-ratings for the MCU. Naturally, if there is a story where that would make sense, sure they would discuss it. (i.e. don’t hold your breath for an R-rated Marvel project outside Deadpool)— Aaron Couch (@AaronCouch) February 24, 2021
This development suggests that Mahershala Ali's Blade will not be rated-R considering that this film is already being written.
HERE'S WHY BLADE SHOULD HAVE AN R-RATING
The R-Rating for Deadpool 3 is already a given, but many would argue that the same should be true for Blade. As it is, Feige's statement is not absolute, and the fact that the topic is still open for discussion should bode well for the vampire-focused MCU project.
It would be a missed opportunity for Blade to not have an R-rating, especially considering the long history of the character of dealing with mature content. The blood-and-guts approach combined with the supernatural elements of Blade in the pages of Marvel Comics managed to propel the hero to greater heights, and this was further proven by Wesley Snipes' previous live-action iteration of the vampire.
All signs point to Blade receiving an R-rating, with even Ali acknowledging that the hero is “darker” in terms of tone and portrayal. That said, there's always a chance that Feige is just misdirecting the press, and the original intention is for Blade to correspond with the original theme of the character from the comics and the previous movies.
Whatever the case may be, it's a good sign that Marvel Studios is open for the introduction of Rated-R projects in their slate, and it's reasonable to assume that Blade still could follow in the footsteps of Deadpool 3 in that regard. Given that the behind-the-scenes plans of studios are ever-changing, anything is possible at this point, especially for a franchise like the MCU.