Although comic book movies have been a thing for decades, it wasn’t until the late ‘90s/early 2000s that the genre finally started to become popular. We have 1998’s Blade to thank in part for this, but that was over two decades ago, and now the Marvel Cinematic Universe has decided to bring in the vampire-hunting hero, who will be played by True Detective’s Mahershala Ali.
At the end of the Marvel Studios presentation at San Diego Comic-Con, Blade was saved as the big surprise, with Mahershala Ali coming out on stage. There’s been talk for years about Blade getting a reboot, and now it’s official that he’s returning to the big screen, as opposed to being the lead of a Disney+ or Hulu show.
Of course, many of you already know that this won’t be Mahershala Ali’s first time working in the world of Marvel. He previously played Cornell Stokes, a.k.a. Cottonmouth, in the Netflix series Luke Cage. The ties between the Marvel movies and Netflix shows were always loose, but now Ali’s casting as Blade throws another wrench into the works.
Introduced in 1973’s The Tomb of Dracula #10, Blade, real name Eric Brooks, is a skilled martial artist and swordsman who boast incredible abilities like super strength, stamina, speed, enhanced senses, slowed aging and immunity to vampire bites and hypnosis. He primarily fights these blood-sucking creatures, but he’s fought other kinds of foes and teamed up with various Marvel heroes on the printed page.
Wesley Snipes’ Blade starred in three movies between 1998 and 2004, and while he had expressed interest in playing the character again, now it’s time for Mahershala Ali to take on the mantle. Who knows though, maybe the Blade reboot could cast Snipes as a different character.
Blade also led a short-lived live action TV series on Spike TV that starred Sticky Fingaz. His other media appearances include the ‘90s Spider-Man animated series, Marvel Anime: Blade, Ultimate Spider-Man and various video games. No doubt a lot of folks are already familiar with the character from the past movies, but this reboot allows for him to reach an even wider audience.
Given that the MCU movies have always operated within the PG-13 realm, it will be interesting to see if Blade follows suit or if this could be the first R-rated MCU movie. I’m guessing it will be PG-13 like all the rest, but given that Blade operates in a gorier corner of the Marvel universe, it’ll be interesting to see how this new movie can deliver a similar kind of intensity while still appealing to a wider moviegoing audience.
Blade doesn’t have an assigned release date yet, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for that info, what other actors will be joining Mahershala Ali and more updates on the reboot’s development.