Wesley Snipes is fully on board in supporting the next chapter of the Marvel ‘Blade’ franchise even though his presence will be noticeably absent as the superhero vampire.
Following in the footsteps of Snipes is the Oscar Award-winning actor Mahershala Ali. Playing the daywalking vampire slayer will make for Ali’s on-screen Marvel debut, as well as mark the first Blade film to be made since 2004. The film is currently in the rudimentary stages of putting together its production crew. Filming is slated to begin by summer 2022.
With more than a year left before the film is released, fans are wondering how Ali’s embodiment of Blade will measure up to the magic his predecessor created in the late ’90s through the early 2000s. Snipes, however, is confident the “Moonlight” actor will slay the role.
“He will do great,” tweeted Snipes on Thursday, Nov. 11, in response to a fan saying it will be a challenge for Ali to outdo Snipes’ Blade performance.
Snipes played the daywalker vampire slayer in the first three installments of the franchise: “Blade,” Blade II” and “Blade: Trinity,” with each iteration showing off the actor’s decades of martial arts training. But in 2019 his role that many argue helped launch Marvel’s film success being recast with one of Hollywood’s rising leading men came as a surprise to him and fans.
“To all the DAYWALKERS losing their minds right now, chillaaxx. Although the news comes as a surprise, it’s ALL GOOD. Such is the business of entertainment. Much peace to the MCU crew – always a fan,” Snipes, 59, told Comicbook.com.
Ali has already voiced the character of Blade for a scene at the end of Marvel’s “Eternals,” but is now itching to fully embody the character. “That Marvel world is obviously the biggest in film, and just to get my little introduction to that – starting with the Comic Con a couple years ago, and now the very early stages of stepping into the shoes of that character – it felt special and really cool,” Ali, 47, told Empire. “I’m excited to get going and do more.”