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Marvel Studios revealed a lot of new information at its Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con this past Saturday, but arguably the biggest surprise of the panel was that Blade is being rebooted for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Alita: Battle Angel star Mahershala Ali will play him. This news comes 15 years after Wesley Snipes delivered his final performance as the vampire hunter in Blade: Trinity.

Although Wesley Snipes campaigned for years to reprise Blade, the actor has now publicly said that he’s okay with Marvel deciding to recast the character and is fully supporting Mahershala Ali taking over the role. The actor’s statement to Comicbook.com reads as follows:

To all the DAYWALKERS losing their minds right now, chillaaxx. Although the news comes as a surprise, it’s ALL good. Such is the ‘business’ of ‘entertainment!’ Much peace to the MCU crew - always a fan. Honor and respect to the grandmaster Stan. Congratulations and Salaam to Mahershala Ali, a beautiful and talented artist whose expressions I look forward to experiencing for many years to come. Inshallah, we will someday work together. Most importantly to my loyal fans, the incredible outpouring of love is overwhelming. I am grateful for the never-ending support. So, ‘nah fret nah worry, it’s not de end of de story.’ Welcome to the Daywalker Klique.

Like the rest of us, Wesley Snipes was surprised about Marvel’s Blade news, namely Mahershala Ali being picked to play Eric Brooks rather than him getting a fourth outing. But he’s not bitter about this creative decision and is looking forward to seeing Ali bring this new version of Blade to life, while also thanking his fanbase for their support.

However, just because Wesley Snipes is behind Mahershala Ali playing Blade doesn’t mean that he’s finished with the Blade franchise entirely. After the Ali casting was announced, fans of the original Blade movies suggested that Snipes should appear in the reboot, whether it’s a simple cameo or a supporting role.

We’ll have to wait and see if Marvel chooses to do that, but either way, it’s finally official that we’re getting a new incarnation of Blade on the big screen. It turns out that Mahershala Ali pitched Marvel Studios the idea of a Blade reboot after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Don Shirley in Green Book.

That said, don’t expect to see Blade hit theaters right away. Marvel’s Phase 4 is only lasting two years, with Black Widow kicking it off next May and Thor: Love and Thunder wrapping it up in November 2021. So Blade will be saved for Phase 5, which also includes movies like Black Panther 2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and new Fantastic Four and X-Men reboots.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on Blade, including where it will be placed on the calendar and whether or not Wesley Snipes will be involved with it. In the meantime, look through our Marvel movies guide to learn what else this franchise has in the works.

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