With San Diego Comic-Con 2019 taking place, there was bound to be a few pieces of news about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans received a lot more than just a few pieces, as a variety of upcoming films and shows were revealed.
Among those is a Blade reboot where Marvel will recreate the character previously played by Wesley Snipes. So who is the new Blade for the MCU?
Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali is new Blade
Saturday’s panel brought forth a look at the MCU Phase 4 lineup for the next several years. It also brought another Marvel-reveal that award-winning actor Mahershala Ali is going to step into the role of Blade.
He’s 45-years-old and was born in Hayward, California. Mahershala is actually his shortened name, as he was born Mahershalalhashbaz which is the longest name in the Bible. His last name is Ali, though.
The star actor rose to fame rapidly in recent years. In Hollywood, Ali quickly became known for his Academy Awards victories for back-to-back movies over the past several years.
His first Oscar statue came in 2016 for his portrayal of Juan in the Best Picture winner Moonlight. Ali followed that up with his win for 2018’s Green Book. In that movie, he played American jazz and classical pianist Don Shirley.
Prior to those wins, Ali was in a number of films including the first two installments of The Hunger Games, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
He also appeared in the Oscar-winning movie Hidden Figures, along with many television roles over the years.
Ali’s TV roles included Netflix Marvel series
It won’t be Ali’s first time appearing in a project associated with Marvel either. Fans of the Netflix series Luke Cage may recognize him as one of the villains in the first season of that Marvel series.
Ali took on the role of Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, a supervillain based on Marvel Comics.
In addition to that role, he also appeared as detective Wayne Hayes in HBO’s third season of True Detective, and as Remy Danton on Netflix’s House of Cards for three years.
Ali may also have familiarity for viewers of popular shows such as CSI, NYPD Blue, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He held guest roles on these shows and a number of others.
Mahershala Ali takes on Wesley Snipes’ role for reboot
For those who are new to Marvel’s Blade, the comic book character first popped up in Tomb of Dracula No. 10 back in 1973. The hero became known for his intense hatred of vampires.
Blade, real name Eric Brooks, possessed a number of special abilities and gained others through events in the comics.
He was born as a half-man, half-vampire who had all their strengths and none of their weaknesses. In the comics, he made hunting vampires his main objective based on personal history with them.
Previously, actor Wesley Snipes played the Blade character for a trilogy of movies under New Line Cinema. The first of those movies came out in 1998, with sequels arriving in 2002, and 2004.
There had even been some talk of Snipes’ reprising his role as of several years ago, but it appears Marvel has moved in as their new choice.
A Blade television show also came out in 2006 on Spike TV. That starred Sticky Fingaz, also associated with the hip-hop act Onyx, as Eric Brooks aka Blade.
Despite solid ratings for the debut of the show, it was unable to keep any momentum going and lasted just a season.
Now with Marvel involved, fans are more hyped than ever for the reboot. Reportedly, Ali contacted Marvel asking to take on the role and the rest is history.
In terms of a release date or official title for the Blade movie, that is still to be announced. However, it was revealed during all of the interviews and talks at Comic-Con that this movie will arrive as part of Phase 5 of the MCU.
Based on the revelation of all of the other Marvel movies and shows, that should bring Blade out somewhere past 2021.
See more about Mahershala Ali’s life, roles, and other interests at his official Instagram here.