One of the biggest surprises to come out of Marvel Studios’ Comic-Con panel was the reveal that Mahershala Ali has been cast as Blade. Considering that there isn’t a Blade movie lined up in Phase 4, Ali’s appearance at Comic-Con was an outlier. While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel’s Kevin Feige revealed that Ali directly approached him about playing Blade.
“When Mahershala calls, you answer,” said Feige. The meeting took place earlier this year, after Ali won his second Oscar for Green Book. THR notes that “Ali came right out and said that he wanted to do Blade.”
Ali also won his first Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Moonlight. Prior to that, Ali had a memorable role in Luke Cage season 1 as Cottonmouth. Ali isn’t the first actor to do double duty for the MCU’s film and TV divisions. But he will be the first headline his own movie.
The original Blade movie came out in 1998, and helped set the stage for the comic book films that followed. Blade featured a supporting character from Marvel’s Tomb of Dracula who had only occasionally headlined his own comic. The film played up his half-vampire heritage, with Wesley Snipes in the title role. Snipes reprised his role in two sequels, and expressed his interest in returning again for the MCU.
With the Marvel comic book universe, Blade has had a larger role as one of the Avengers. He will also headline Marvel’s new Strikeforce comic later this year.
Are you excited to see Ali take over the role of Blade? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Blade: Blood And Chaos