Mahershala Ali Details his Early Experience With Blade in the MCU

Mahershala Ali appeared on The Tight Rope Podcast to delve into his personal life and give some interesting background on how he landed the role of Blade.
mahershala ali talks blade

Mahershala Ali is more than ready to tackle MCU’s infamous vampire hunter.

After an expectedly wild new slate of movies coming up in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are a handful of projects planned out that still don’t have exact release dates. The most notable of these projects are Peyton Reed and Paul Rudd’s untitled Ant-Man 3, the highly-anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 headed by James Gunn, and the brand new MCU reboot of Blade.

Blade was the closing announcement at the 2019 Marvel Studios San Diego Comic-Con panel as CCO Kevin Feige brought Academy Award-winner Mahershala Ali on stage to introduce him as the leading man complete with his own cap. Since then, news has been incredibly scarce on this project with it being so far out in Marvel’s release schedule, although the studio is currently looking for the movie’s writer.

Mahershala Ali Shares His Blade Story

mahershala ali is blade

Recently, Mahershala Ali made an appearance on The Tight Rope Podcast to delve into much of his personal life, but he also shared some interesting background information on how he landed the role of Marvel’s most famous Daywalker. It turns out that Ali has been thinking about taking on this role ever since his appearance in Netflix’s Luke Cage, as he describes here:

So, I did this Marvel show for Netflix called Luke Cage, right? And so in doing that show, the day it premiered I had turned to my agent and I had said, what are they doing with Blade? Because I kept hearing that they were trying to find a way to remake it and put it back together, and it was exciting for me to get to be in that Marvel space in TV, but for me my goal had always been film.


Even while he was excited after playing Cottonmouth as a part of Marvel’s new run on Netflix, he later talks about how he always had an eye for the big screen, especially with the role he’s now officially taken on. He reveals that he had a constant watch on what exactly Marvel was doing with Blade until things finally came into place for him and the studio:

But also being able to participate in television in very specific ways that had real meaning, but my larger goal was to be able to really navigate between film and television, and so I turned to my agent and I said you know, what’re they doing with Blade? And he goes I check on it, and so there was this long process of them speaking about, at least in the television division, really wanted to make it a TV show again, but not necessarily, trying to acquire the rights still, and some thing’s kinda going on, so it took a couple of years.

Asked about what exactly inspired him to take on the role, Mahershala Ali mentioned his connection to the Wesley Snipes interpretation of Blade from 1998-2004, one of the earliest pioneers in modern superhero movies. However, he again mentioned that it wasn’t sparked in his own mind until his starring role in Luke Cage:

I definitely had a connection, at least in my mind, to Wesley Snipes going way back to high school when people used to joke and say we looked alike, and all this stuff. It was really my participation in Luke Cage that sparked the idea, married with being so inspired by Wesley Snipes’ work.

For the finishing touches, Ali revealed what it is that appeals to him about Blade and the kind of tone he wants to use when his first MCU solo movie arrives:

I really wanted to take on that role, and tackle that, and also…I love that it’s 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.

It’s still unclear if Blade will release as a part of the MCU’s Phase 4 or 5, but it will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting new solo movies the franchises has brought in a long time. After the original Blade trilogy helped kickstart the modern era of superhero movies over 20 years ago, he will now be brought into the most successful movie franchise of all time, and it appears that it will have just as dark and eerie of a tone surrounding him as the fans are hoping for.

Are you excited for Mahershala Ali as Blade? Let us know your thoughts on the comments below.


Picture of Richard Nebens

Richard Nebens

I specialize in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the Illuminerdi; exclusives, news, and reviews. I also touch on subjects all across the movie universe and love being a part of the movie news world!