Mahershala Ali
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Two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali took the stage at Marvel’s presentation in Hall H during San Diego Comic-Con, and put on a Blade baseball cap causing the audience to burst into loud cheers.  Yes, Marvel Studios is introducing their version of Blade and Ali is playing him.

Blade, the half-vampire vampire slayer, was actually the second character from the publisher to star in his own cinematic film, following ‘Howard the Duck’ in the ’80s.  (Well, in between, a couple of other movies got made, but never released.)  Wesley Snipes starred as Blade in three movies, in 1998 (one year before the first ‘X-Men’), 2002, and 2004.  The films made over $204 million and kicked off the modern era of comic book cinema.  Sticky Fingaz portrayed Blade in the one-season TV series that aired on TNT from 2006-07.

The comic book character was created by Marv Wolfman and premiered in 1973’s ‘Tomb of Dracula’ #10.

In an interesting move, it appears this film came to be because Ali wanted to make it!  After winning his second Oscar for ‘Green Book’, he phoned Marvel Studios.  As Kevin Feige informed the audience:

“When Marhershala calls, you answer.”

Apparently, Ali told Feige he wanted to play Blade and the studio made it happen.

Ali has previous ties to Marvel, having voiced Miles Morales’ uncle Aaron Davis/The Prowler in ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ and playing crime boss Cornell ‘Cottonmouth’ Stokes on Netflix’s ‘Luke Cage’.  Interestingly, his co-star Alfre Woodard played another baddie, Mariah Dillard on ‘Luke Cage’ and Miriam in ‘Captain America: Civil War’.  Technically, the Netflix shows are supposed to take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but… well, not really.

Ali won his first Oscar in 2017 for ‘Moonlight’ and ‘Green Book’ earlier this year.  Also this year, he played the villain in ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ and headlined the third season of HBO’s ‘True Detective’.

Of the Marvel projects announced and/or confirmed at SDCC, ‘Blade’ appears to be the one in earliest development, so a release date hasn’t been determined yet.

What do you think of a new ‘Blade’ starring Mahershala Ali?


Source: The Hollywood Reporter