Mahershala Ali has opened up about what attracted him to Blade more than any other Marvel character. The Oscar-winning actor will play the role in an upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.
In an interaction with hosts of The Tight Rope podcast, Ali said, “I love that [Blade is] 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.”
Blade, also called Daywalker, has already been adapted into a live-action film before. The character was portrayed by Wesley Snipes in a successful film trilogy from New Line Cinema, now a subsidiary of Warner Bros.
Blade, whose real name is Eric Brooks, was a mortal in the comics who was immune to vampire attacks. He was bitten by Morbius, a notable Marvel character who is also getting a film adaptation from Sony starring Jared Leto, and became a creature called dhampir — half vampire and half-human. He hunts evil vampires and wants to eradicate them from the world.
Mahershala Ali has previously appeared in the MCU TV series Luke Cage. He also said that his desire was inspired by Wesley Snipes’ work as the character.
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Ali continued, “[My desire to play Blade was] 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 sort of ushered in this era of Marvel and DC, sort of like comic book stuff. 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 back to high school. People use to joke and say that we looked alike and all this stuff. I just brought it up as someone who really wanted to take on that [Blade] role and tackle that.”
Currently, there is no information regarding the release date, writers and director of Blade.