When you think of Blade, it wouldn’t be unfair to suggest that rapper-turned-actor Sticky Fingaz isn’t the first name that comes to mind. Hell, there’s no doubt plenty of people to have seen the entire Wesley Snipes trilogy wouldn’t even be aware of the TV show that lasted for a single season before taking a stake through the heart.
Fans were shocked when Mahershala Ali was trotted on stage at 2019’s San Diego Comic-Con to announce that the Daywalker was being rebooted as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and if you’re looking for someone capable of stepping into Snipes’ ass-kicking shoes, then a two-time Academy Award winner isn’t a bad place to start.
While Ali won’t be able to match his predecessor’s lightning-quick reflexes and martial arts prowess, he’ll definitely be putting the work in to ensure he stands apart from anything Snipes brought to the role. Speaking to Jake’s Takes, the ever-humble star was keen to stress that he needs to earn his position as the best Blade we’ve seen.
“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.”
Having technically debuted via an off-screen cameo in Eternals, recent reports indicate that Blade is set to begin shooting next summer, so it should be in theaters before the end of 2023. A PG-13 spin on the cult favorite has some folks viewing the project with skepticism, but you’d have to be a fool to doubt Ali or the MCU at this stage.