A new era of Blade will soon be upon us. At the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, a decade and a half after Wesley Snipes’ last outing as the Daywalker, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced that True Detective’s Mahershala Ali would bring Blade to life within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Nearly two full years later, Ali hasn’t met with Snipes about playing Blade, although the latter recently admitted that it would be “strange” if the former contacted him about the role.
While Wesley Snipes spoke with Den of Geek about his latest movie, Coming 2 America, the conversation briefly focused on Blade. Here’s what the actor had to say about why he’s ok with not talking about Marvel’s most famous vampire hunter with Mahershala Ali:
No, he hasn’t called me. We haven’t talked about characterizations or how he should play it or anything like that. I can’t imagine that call ever coming in. That would be really strange.
Given that Mahershala Ali will be the second actor to play Blade on film, one wouldn’t fault him if he wanted to pick Wesley Snipes’ brain about the role. However, as Snipes sees it, he doesn’t expect that Ali will chat him up about all things Blade. No doubt Snipes thinks that Ali is perfectly capable of figuring out the role by himself, which is hardly an unreasonable thought given that Ali is an Academy Award and Golden Globe winner. And if I might get speculative for a moment, while obviously Ali’s Blade will pull certain elements from the source material like Snipes’ version did, it wouldn’t be surprising if Ali wants to make sure that his Blade performance doesn’t too closely resemble what Snipes did over the course of the original Blade trilogy.
One thing is certain: Wesley Snipes is fully supportive of Mahershala Ali taking over as Blade. He first said as much back in September 2019, and this past February, he stated how he’s fully behind both Ali and Marvel Studios’ efforts to bring Blade back to the big screen. Snipes reiterated his support in this more recent interview with the following:
But we did communicate about how much we appreciate each other’s work, and how I’m comfortable with saying, ‘Hey man, go rock it, baby. If you got it, do it.’ It ain’t gonna be easy. There’s a whole lot of it that you don’t know [with] them action movies. Everybody ain’t cut like that. They ain’t made for it. But if you got it, let’s go. I got your back 1,000 percent. Let’s go.
Breaking from the traditional Marvel Studios model of Kevin Feige and the other MCU architects deciding which stories will be told in the coming years and then seeking actors to play the characters leading said stories, it was Mahershala Ali who pitched rebooting Blade to Marvel, with the meeting happening shortly after he won an Academy Award for his performance in Green Book. Considering how deep his connection to the original Blade movies runs, it makes sense why Ali was determined to bring the Daywalker into the MCU. This marks Ali’s fourth comic book project, having already lent his talents to Luke Cage, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and the currently-airing Invincible.
As things currently stand, the Blade reboot doesn’t have an official release date, although it would make sense if it ended up being slotted for October 7, 2022. The last major update concerning the project was that Stacy Osei-Kuffour, who worked on HBO’s Watchmen series, will write the Blade script. So there’s still a ways to go before we learn what this next Blade story will be about and who will appear alongside Ali’s iteration of the character, but the wheels of progress are slowly turning.
While we wait for more news about how Blade is coming along, browse through our upcoming Marvel movies guide to learn what else is coming down the MCU pipeline. To the Mahershala Ali fans out there, Swan Song is his next movie lined up, and it also stars Naomi Harris, Awkwafina and Glenn Close.