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22 years ago, before the X-Men and Spider-Man made their cinematic debuts, Marvel’s resident vampire hunter, Blade, jumped to the big screen, and that first Blade movie saw Wesley Snipes’ version of the character tussling with Deacon Frost, played by Stephen Dorff. The superhero movie landscape has changed a lot since then, and it was announced last year that Blade will be rebooted for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Mahershala Ali taking over the role.
Having recently worked with Mahershala Ali on True Detective Season 3, Stephen Dorff is excited to see what his costar will do as Blade, saying:
I saw him after it was announced [at Comic-Con 2019] and I'm happy for him. I think he'll do a great job with Blade and reinventing the franchise. It probably should've been done a while ago, but I think it's good for him.
Stephen Dorff commented on Mahershala Ali being cast as Blade while speaking with ET at the Television Critics Association winter press tour while plugging his newest show, Deputy. In the most recent season of HBO’s True Detective, Ali played the main character, Wayne Hays, a detective and Vietnam War veteran, while Dorff played his partner, Roland West. So needless to say the two actors worked quite closely together.
Although he and Mahershala Ali haven’t talked “too much” about Blade, Stephen Dorff is confident that Ali (who already has comic book project experience with Luke Cage and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) is the right man for the job. Coming from someone who was involved with the first chapter of Blade’s film history, that means a lot. In Dorff’s words:
But I mean, I love the guy. I'm sure he'll do it justice. To have such a great actor in the part of Blade for this new generation, it'll be great.
Stephen Dorff isn’t the only actor from the original Blade franchise to support Mahershala Ali’s casting. Days after the news was announced, Wesley Snipes congratulated Ali and expressed interest in someday working with him. A few months later, Ali reaffirmed how happy he was that Ali gets to be Blade for a new generation.
The news that Mahershala Ali was joining the MCU as Blade was certainly surprising, if not the biggest shocker from the Marvel Studios panel. Although there’d been talk for years about the character potentially being incorporated into this continually-expanding franchise, and Wesley Snipes had met with the Marvel brass about reprising the role, there wasn’t any inkling that things were this far along. Presumably Ali meeting with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige helped speed things along.
However, knowing that Mahershala Ali will be the new Blade is one thing. When we’ll actually see him don the sunglasses and wield the sword is another. The MCU’s Phase 4 is covered on both movies and Disney+ shows, leaving sometime in Phase 5 as the earliest we could see him debut. So far the only Phase 5 film that is scheduled is Black Panther II for May 6, 2022, so we’ll just have to wait and see if Blade shows up in either 2022 or 2023, or if we’ll have to wait even longer for him.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the biggest updates concerning Blade’s MCU future. For now, you can learned what’s being released in Phase 4 and beyond with our Marvel movies guide.