When Marvel rolled out it’s phase four and phase 5 plans one surprise was the inclusion of a Blade reboot. The well regarded Wesley Snipes moves… well, two of them at least… were quite adult fare and the character seemed outside what Disney and Marvel would want to bring to the big screen. We won’t mention the TV show featuring (…checks notes…) Sticky Fingaz. Who? Is this a joke? Seriously?? OK then.
They were all in, and even had an Oscar winner lined up to play the title character in Mahershala Ali. He was also a Marvel veteran having played the villain Cottonmouth in Netflix’s Luke Cage.
In an interview with The Tight Rope podcast he spoke about the role and why he coveted it.
“I did this Marvel show for Netflix called Luke Cage, right?. So, in doing that show, the day it premiered I had turned to my agent and I had said, ‘What are they doing with Blade?’.
Because I kept hearing that they were trying to find a way to remake it and put it back together, and it was exciting for me to get to be in that Marvel space in TV, but for me, my goal had always been film.
So, there was this long process of them speaking about, at least in the television division, really wanted to make it a TV show again, but not necessarily, trying to acquire the rights still, and some thing’s kinda going on, so it took a couple of years.”
Ali went on to talk about Snipes himself and how he was a major inspiration to Ali growing up:
“For me, I just felt like since they were having conversations about bringing it back into being, I just wanted to be considered for it because I had definitely a connection, at least in my mind, to Wesley Snipes going way back to high school when people used to joke and say we looked alike, and all this stuff.
So, I just brought it up as someone who wanted to, I really wanted to take on that role, and tackle that. Also…I love that it’s darker, that’s all in terms of tone, he’s a little bit darker than some of the other ones, and so that element was attractive to me.”
Due to the various delays in the MCU’s rollout, it’s not clear when Ali’s “Blade” will hit the screen though it’s unlikely to arrive until 2023 at the earliest at this point as writers are still being sought.