Blade Actor Mahershala Ali Teases What Comes Next

I was fortunate enough to speak on a panel at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, the last "normal" Comic-Con before, well, everything happened. I stared in awe as I saw the lines for the infamous Hall H wrap around San Diego city blocks, and when the Marvel announcements for Phase 4 came pouring out, I understood why so many people camped out for days to be in the room where it happens. Roars of cheering blew through the doors with every new announcement, and the joy was infectious. The building vibrated with excitement as Kevin Feige nonchalantly threw out titles like "Black Panther 2," "Captain Marvel 2," and "Guardians of the Galaxy 3," only to end the presentation by bringing out Academy Award-winning actor, Mahershala Ali, to announce the reboot of "Blade."

The room exploded with screaming, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I, too, absolutely marked out. The "Blade" trilogy from the late '90s into the early '00s is undoubtedly my favorite Marvel owned property – and yes, that includes "Blade: Trinity." To know that one of the biggest companies in the world was finally going to incorporate one of its most beloved properties into the behemoth known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe felt like ultimate horror nerd vindication. The character, famously played by Wesley Snipes, was a game changer for comic-book horror adaptations, and especially for Black superheroes. If anyone can accept the leather jacket and black sunglasses torch, it's Mahershala Ali.

Mahershala Ali Talks Playing Blade

In a recent interview with Empire, Mahershala Ali spoke about what it was like to step into the booth and record lines as the titular "Blade" for the very first time. "It was really cool, getting to do that," he told Empire, but also explained that it also meant he had to begin crafting his version of the character before ever stepping foot in front of a camera. He continued:

"It was scary. Because, you know, you're talking before you're filming it. I'm pretty particular about my choices, like most actors, and so having to make some choices – even with a line, vocally – this early on, it brought up some very real anxieties. And it made the job real. It's like, 'Okay, this is happening now,' you know? And that's exciting."

Ali noted that Marvel is the biggest thing in film right now, and he's excited to step into this world. "It felt special and really cool," he said. "I'm excited to get going and do more." While Ali has yet to put on the iconic leather Blade gear, he teased with Empire, "We're getting there, we're getting close."

No word yet on whether or not Ali will get the fresh to death shape-up, but we're eager to see what he looks like in character.