As you’ll no doubt be aware by now, Mahershala Ali made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as Blade in the second post-credits scene of Eternals, albeit in very muted fashion.
The reboot Daywalker’s first outing was an offscreen voice cameo that ran for a single line of dialogue, with his scene partner Kit Harington not even finding out the identity of the person doing the talking until three weeks before Chloe Zhao’s intergalactic epic came to theaters.
Now that the vampire-slaying cat is out of the bag, it’s all systems go for Ali’s standalone movie, which has Bassam Tariq directing and Delroy Lindo locked in as the first member of the supporting cast. However, despite his minor contribution to Eternals, the two-time Academy Award winner admitted on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that he was losing sleep over it.
“You lose a lot of sleep over it. I was losing sleep over this line because, ideally, you want to be talking once you are filming. One hundred percent of the time, my first day on any set, on any job, I hate it. I hate how I sound. I don’t believe myself. You’re trying to get comfortable in the character, so to have to talk before you actually film was challenging.”
It wasn’t quite the grandstanding introduction of a major player we’ve come to expect from the MCU, but it’ll do. It’s been almost two and a half years since Blade was first announced to be in active development, and yet the pieces have only started falling into place over the last couple of months. Production is expected to begin next summer, though, so it’s full steam ahead from here on out.