Mahershala Ali Says He Inquired About ‘Blade’ Role Back In 2016 and Alludes To Darker Tone For Reboot

There had been plenty of rumors of Marvel Television trying to make a new Blade series for streaming services despite a trade report from 2013 stating that Marvel Studios was developing an in-house script via their writers program. Mahershala Ali was announced as the new Eric Brooks aka Blade at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, however, it was clear that Marvel hadn’t hired a director or screenwriters at that point.

Marvel’s Kevin Feige confirmed that Mahershala approached them specifically about Blade as they really planning on making a film at the time.

While speaking on the podcast The Tight Rope (via The Direct), Ali revealed that he started asking Marvel about Blade coming back to the fall of 2016 after the Season 1 of Luke Cage premiered on Netflix. Adding that Marvel Television had indeed been considering making a Blade series before landing the part and alludes that Blade may remain “darker in tone”.

ALI: “So I did this Marvel show for Netflix called Luke Cage, right? And so in doing that show, the day it premiered I had turned to my agent and I had said ‘what are they doing with Blade?’. Because I kept hearing that they were trying to find a way to remake it and put it back together, and it was exciting for me to get to be in that Marvel space in TV, but for me my goal had always been film. But also being able to participate in television in very specific ways that had real meaning, but my larger goal was to be able to really navigate between film and television, and so I turned to my agent and I said you know, what’re they doing with Blade? And he goes I check on it, and so there was this long process of them speaking about, at least in the television division, really wanted to make it a TV show again, but not necessarily, trying to acquire the rights still, and some thing’s kinda going on, so it took a couple of years.”

“But it was really my participation in Luke Cage that sparked the idea, married with being so inspired by Wesley Snipes’ work, and what he had done, and how much had changed since his iteration of Blade, and how that had really sorta like ushered in this era of like this Marvel and DC sort of like comic book stuff, and so, for me, like I just felt like since they were having conversations about bringing it back into being, I just wanted to be considered for it because I had definitely a connection, at least in my mind to Wesley Snipes going way back to high school when people used to joke and say we looked alike, and all this stuff.”

“Wesley was someone who I recognized, and yet had an impact on my confidence, and in just me sort of just kinda like standing in my own truth and own strength in a certain way, so I always kind of followed his choices, and really was inspired by his work, and so many others, but Wesley in particular, and so I just brought it up as someone who wanted to, I really wanted to take on that role, and tackle that, and also I love that it’s darker, that’s all in terms of tone, he’s a little bit darker than some of the other ones, and so that element was attractive to me.”

There was a brief update from Deadline that Marvel Studios is currently seeking black writers to pen a Blade script but a director has yet to be named. While there had been fan speculation that Blade could be ready for release in late 2022, where it is in the development process would say that was never an option and would be very difficult to begin shooting before 2022 given how many projects Marvel Studios is busy with at the moment.

BLADE – A half-mortal, half-immortal is out to avenge his mother’s death and rid the world of vampires. The modern-day technologically advanced vampires he is going after are in search of his special blood type needed to summon an evil god who plays a key role in their plan to execute the human race.


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