Whether people admit it or not, Wesley Snipes playing Blade helped bring comic book movies into fashion. So when Marvel decided to reboot the iconic Marvel vampire, it was perhaps surprising for some to hear that Oscar winner Mahershala Ali will play the title role instead of Snipes. Despite not being a part of the Marvel reboot, Snipes has continued to be a class act when speaking on Mahershala Ali’s impending version.
Without Wesley Snipes as Blade, there would be no Marvel Cinematic Universe. The actor became embedded in people’s minds as the character in the original trilogy. Snipes was interviewed by Uproxx about his role in Coming 2 America. With the Marvel reboot still on people’s minds, the conversation soon turned to Blade. The actor alluded to having a project bigger than his Blade films in the works before praising Mahershala Ali and Marvel:
I don’t have any involvement, but I support the young artists and I support Marvel in their business decisions. It’s a beautiful thing. I think he’s a heck of a job. He’s got a heck of a job on his hands.
Wesley Snipes is correct in that Mahershala Ali will have some big shoes to fill. Not only was the Blade film series immensely popular, but moviegoers loved Snipes as the half-human, half-vampire Marvel staple. But like many superhero films, multiple actors can play the same role without pitting them against each other. There have been multiple actors who’ve played Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and the X-Men without any problems. But as the superhero genre continues to evolve, DC and Marvel are embracing the idea of multiverses as old and new actors play the same character in the same film. In that case, Ali and Snipes could end up being in the same film someday.
The fact that Wesley Snipes spoke so highly of Mahershala Ali showcases that actors don’t have to hate each other as far as reboots are concerned. Plus, the actor seemed to have moved on from the role, having spoken on bigger projects in the interview.
Wesley Snipes will always be Blade to fans of the original Blade trilogy. Mahershala Ali even acknowledged the connection between him and Snipes. Even after Ali’s casting, the actor has continued to support the new Blade while still staking his claim on the role. But many fans of the original Blade films have been pushing for Snipes to make a cameo, which he’s acknowledged. Even with Snipes' blessing, the reboot’s reported PG-13 rating has some fans upset. Despite his success, Snipes recently spoke on his reps being against him taking on the iconic Marvel character.
As mentioned before, having Wesley Snipes and Mahershala Ali in the same film wouldn’t be too far off. But Snipes giving Marvel and Ali his blessing (somewhat) legitimatizes the reboot for many skittish fans. If you want to relive Snipes as Blade again, you stream Blade on YouTube, Blade II on Vudu and Prime Video, and Blade: Trinity on Hulu, Prime Video and HBO Max.