Amid all the changes taking place on HBO Max, the streamer just lost one of its last footholds in the Marvel market – the cult-hit, Blade trilogy. The film adaptations of Marvel Comics' Blade stories starring Wesley Snipes were removed from HBO Max at the end of August. If you want to re-watch the movies now, you'll need to look somewhere else.
Blade, Blade II and Blade: Trinity is not a part of the official Marvel Cinematic Universe continuity, but are still some of the most beloved Marvel Comics adaptations ever made. They were commercially successful in their time in spite of the fact that the genre was not taken quite as seriously in those days. Today, many fans argue that the MCU and the modern superhero movie boom owe a lot to the foundation laid by Blade. Soon, Marvel Studios will reboot Blade back into its own continuity, which means that many fans will be looking to rewatch these movies in the next few years.
The Blade franchise was distributed by New Line Cinema, which was acquired by Warner Bros. in 2008, possibly explaining their presence on HBO Max right now. It's not clear why they're leaving that streaming service at the end of August but it could be a licensing deal. If that's the case, Marvel Entertainment will likely keep the rights for itself and place the trilogy on an in-house streamer like Hulu.
Marvel reacquired the rights to adapt Blade back in 2012, and according to a report by Deadline, the company had a meeting with Snipes about possibly reprising his role. A few years later, Marvel Studios announced that, instead, it would reboot the story with Mahershala Ali in the titular role. Ali will be one of the few actors to play two separate roles in the MCU, having already played the villain Cottonmouth Stokes in Luke Cage.
The MCU Blade will be written by Stacy Osei-Kuffour and directed by Bassam Tariq. Filming is scheduled to begin in October of 2022 and the movie itself is scheduled to premiere on Nov. 3, 2023. It will be the fourth movie in the MCU's "Phase Five," following Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania in February, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in May and The Marvels in July.