Wesley Snipes Responds to Fans About ‘Blade’ Casting of Mahershala Ali

As elated as fans were upon hearing that Blade is getting a reboot from Marvel, there were some who were salty about Mahershala Ali being cast as the titular vampire hunter. Although the uber-talented Ali will undoubtedly do the role justice, people had thoughts about Wesley Snipes. Kevin Feige’s announcement during Comic-Con about Ali and Blade’s return was one of the most talked-about moments of the event, and fans can rest assured that there is no bad blood (pun intended) between Ali, Snipes, or Marvel.

Wesley Snipes
Wesley Snipes arrives for Excelsior! A Celebration of The Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible and Uncanny Life Of Stan Lee at TCL Chinese Theatre | Getty Images/Gabriel Olsen

Snipes made ‘Blade’ a beloved character

For those not in the know, Snipes was the first to bring the character to life on the big screen. Long considered the first Marvel comic book character transformed into a live-action hero, Blade has become almost synonymous with Wesley Snipes. To many, the actor was legendary in the role.

Three Blade movies were launched in the franchise that began in the 1990s, and although the third film in the series was largely considered a flop, that didn’t change fan love for Blade or Snipes. Snipes is not only an actor, but a practitioner of martial arts who’s performed his own stunts. His one-liners and general badassery in the Blade films immortalized him as the character.

It should come as no surprise then that fans wanted to know how or why Ali was chosen to replace Snipes for the new reboot. Snipes has finally spoken on the matter of Ali’s casting and it is all good. The veteran actor gave a statement to ComicBook.com, saying:

“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. Honor and respect to the grandmaster Stan. Congratulations and Salaam to Mahershala Ali, a beautiful and talented artist whose expressions I look forward to experiencing for many years to come. Inshallah, we will someday work together. Most importantly to my loyal fans, the incredible outpouring of love is overwhelming. I am grateful for the never-ending support. So, ‘nah fret nah worry, it’s not de end of de story.’ Welcome to the Daywalker Klique.”

Passing the baton and thanking fans for their love, Snipes welcomes seeing Ali as Blade. Generally speaking, Blade fans—comic book Blade and Wesley Snipes’ Blade—are excited to see the character get resurrected.

How Ali responded to fan concerns and Snipes

Over the years, rumors have surfaced claiming that the half-human, half-vampire hero would come back to the big screen, and now Marvel is making it come true. Although it’s been reported that it was Ali’s idea to revive Blade with Marvel, he’s shown nothing but respect for Wesley Snipes. In response to Snipes’ statement, he shared a post on Instagram, giving him props.

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@realwesleysnipes ⚔️

A post shared by Mahershala Ali (@mahershalaali) on

In a post-Marvel Comic-Con interview, Feige himself acknowledged to Variety that without Wesley Snipes, there would be no Blade. He called the actor amazing and said that he looks forward to Marvel continuing to tell Blade’s story.

Hopefully, this will help to assuage fan concerns about Snipes until the film hits theaters, but that hasn’t stopped some folks from wishing to see him make a cameo in the new Marvel project. Because it’s such a big undertaking, everyone will be eagerly waiting and watching to see how Marvel and Ali handle the movie. At this time, fans will remain in the dark about the vampire hunter since a release date has not been given. Happy waiting.