The news was announced at Comic-Con in San Diego Sunday, July 21. The revelation had the crowd erupting in cheers once Ali, who most recently starred on HBO’s “True Detective,” donned a black baseball cap bearing the title of the vampire hunter movie.
“It looks like you brought your own hat,” said Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige to the two-time Oscar-winning actor after he welcomed him on stage at Hall H.
Ali put on the hat with the Blade logo as the audience bellowed and the lights went out. Then, the new logo showed up on the screen with attendees still raving and applauding.
The new “Blade” is set to be part of the next series of superhero flicks from Marvel Studios, known as phase four. Ali is taking on the portrayal of the popular half-mortal, half-immortal who seeks to slay vampires as a means of avenging the death of his mother, who was killed by a vampire as she gave birth to him.
Last year, Snipes spoke to The Hollywood Reporter and explained how he wanted to star in a “Black Panther” movie decades before the blockbuster film debuted. He failed to get it off the ground in the 1990s, but it set in motion the development of “Blade.”
“It was a natural progression and a readjustment,” Snipes said at the time. “They both [‘Black Panther’ and ‘Blade’] had nobility. They both were fighters. So I thought, hey, we can’t do the King of Wakanda and the Vibranium and the hidden kingdom in Africa, let’s do a Black vampire.”
In 1998, David S. Goyer-directed flick based on the 1973 comic bowed in theaters. It also spawned two sequels in the form of “Blade II” and “Blade: Trinity.” In total, the series generated $204 million at the box office, and THR reports it is considered to be the unofficial jumping point for the modern blockbuster superhero flick era.
Snipes has yet to respond to the news of Ali starring in “Blade,” which does not yet have a release date, but fans have happily shared their excitement online.
“SUDDENLY I’M A COMIC BOOK NERD.”
“It’s about time Marvel re-made Blade! Can’t wait to see it.”
“Yessssss i can’t wait blade used to be my Baby daddy Ugh!!!!😍 and mahershala fine af.”
“I remember seeing the trailer for alita battle angel and thinking how perfect mahershala ali would be for blade, so awesome.”