Blade is one of the mysterious projects in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's upcoming slate. The film is still shrouded in secrecy, but Marvel Studios already confirmed that Mahershala Ali will portray the MCU's version of Blade. The movie will also be directed by Bassam Tariq, with a script from Watchmen writer Stacy Osei-Kuffour.
Given that Blade has yet to receive an official release date, news about the project has slowed down. However, it was recently reported that Da 5 Bloods actor Delroy Lindo has joined the film in an unknown role.
Ali also made his MCU debut, in a sense, during the Eternals' post-credits scene where he interrupted Kit Harington's Dane Whitman from taking the Ebony Blade. Since then, the actor broke his silence about playing the half-human and half-vampire character, saying that stepping into a role with a voice-over first was a unique experience.
Now, the actor has once again addressed his upcoming debut in a new interview.
Mahershala Ali Opens up About the MCU's Blade
Blade star Mahershala Ali sat down as a guest on Jake's Takes to talk about how his interpretation of the Marvel character will differ from Wesley Snipes' version. Snipes played Blade in three films from 1998 to 2004.
Ali admitted that he is looking forward to "earning" the character since he knows that "there's an anticipation for it." The award-winning actor also acknowledged the fact that there is an "excitement" that Snipes already owns, pointing out that he is just working to earn his place in the Marvel universe:
"You know, what I look forward to is earning it. I look forward to earning. You know, there’s an anticipation for it, there’s an excitement for it that he owns, that Mr. Snipes owns. And so in filling his shoes, I’m just working to earn my place in this and I’m excited to get going and do the work."
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Mahershala Ali's latest comments pay tribute to Wesley Snipes' impressive portrayal of Blade in previous films. In addition, the Marvel actor is clearly excited about his debut, as evidenced by his passionate remarks.
In a previous interview, Snipes already gave Ali some advice about playing the character, with the actor admitting that he's happy for him. Snipes also mentioned that Ali should make sure that he's always in shape, likely alluding to the stunts that the actor will experience while filming.
It remains to be seen if Snipes will be involved in some capacity in Blade, but many would agree that it would be fitting if he was included either as a cameo appearance or a behind-the-scenes consultant.
The MCU's Phase 4 is all about legacy, and even though Blade is a new character, there's a sense that the theme fits the project due to Snipes' portrayal.
Ali's imminent debut is unique from Snipes' standalone universe due to the fact that he will get to interact with other heroes from the Marvel universe.
Either way, Ali seems poised to showcase his own standout performance while still acknowledging what Snipes did for the character.