Mahershala Ali Has Big Shoes to Fill In His Next Project

Mahershala Ali is already a celebrated actor, but he’s about to step into a pretty iconic role. The Green Book star will take on the part of Eric Brooks in the reboot of Blade, a superhero franchise that continues to have a cult-like following, according to Variety. Marvel’s Blade is the latest announcement from the comic book giant at San Diego Comic-Con.

What is Blade about?

The Blade series is one of Marvel’s first successful forays into the world of movies. The company took a bit longer to find success on the silver screen than others in the game, but once it did, all bets were off.

Born half-vampire, half-human, the lead character wages war on an underground vampire faction. The plot continues in Blade II and Blade: Trinity.  Ali’s version of Blade remains shrouded in mystery, so much so that fans have no idea if they’ll be watching Ali portray the beloved superhero on the big or small screen.

Some Fans, however, have taken issue with the fact that Ali has already appeared in the Netflix Original series, Luke Cage. Ali appeared as Cornell ‘Cottonmouth’ Stokes in the series. Luke Cage was pulled form Netflix in June 2018. Continuity issues aside, Ali has a strong foothold in the world of superheroes, making him a perfect choice for this particular role.

Who originally played the part?

Blade, born Eric Brooks, was initially played by Wesley Snipes. The film, which dropped in 1998, is primarily considered Marvel’s first notable superhero flick. Or, at the very least, the first that garnered a cult following.

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Snipes came back in 2002 and 2004 to reprise the role in Blade II and Blade: Trinity. Snipes is not connected to the reboot. He also hasn’t commented on the forthcoming reboot, but he did post a throwback photo on Instagram shortly after the announcement was made. He asked his audience to caption the snapshot.

The reboot is not included in Phase 4 

While the reboot and Ali’s casting were announced at San Diego Comic-Con, it’s important to note that the film will not be a part of Marvel’s Phase 4. Phase 4 refers to all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films that are coming down the pipe over the next two years.

The reboot, however, will set the scene for Marvel’s Phase 5, according to Collider. Aside from Ali’s casting, little else is known about Blade. Marvel brass stopped short of sharing whether Ali will star in a movie reboot, or if the concept will be turned into an original series for the upcoming Disney + streaming service.

Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali | Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Marvel bought back the rights to Blade in 2013, according to The Verge. The acquisition happened around the same time Marvel bought back the Punisher and Ghost Rider characters.