Marvel Studios’ president, Kevin Feige, said it best: “When Mahershala [Ali] calls, you answer.” And the audience at San Diego Comic-Con clearly agreed — when Feige announced that Ali will be starring as superhero Blade in an upcoming Marvel film and brought the actor on stage, the room erupted with applause.
In the comics, Blade is a human with certain vampire-like powers that he uses to hunt vampires. He was previously portrayed by Wesley Snipes in Blade, Blade II, and Blade: Trinity, three films often credited as some of the first successful Marvel Comics adaptations.
It’s hard to think of someone who would be better suited for the role than two-time Oscar winner Ali — and both Marvel superfans and leaders seem to agree. “Two Oscars, a surefire Emmy, and now a Marvel franchise of his very own,” tweeted screenwriter Cheo Hodari Coker. (Coker created Marvel’s Luke Cage on Netflix, which featured Ali as the villain Cottonmouth.) “Everybody wants to be the King...and Mahershala is the king.”
Director and actor Taika Waititi, who is helming the Thor series for Marvel, was also, apparently, a big fan of the casting choice.
And he wasn’t alone.
The news of a Blade reboot is also making original fans nostalgic for Snipes’ iconic performance.
Now that a new Blade movie is announced, let's remember that time Wesley Snipes was mad at the director of Blade: Trinity so he made the entire cast stay late because he refused to open his eyes for a scene. They ended up just CGing the eyes in. pic.twitter.com/W1QXOr1qlY— Imran Khan (@imranzomg) July 21, 2019
Some people on Twitter are suggesting Marvel tap Snipes for some kind of role. Maybe Ali can make another call.