One of the biggest surprises from Marvel Studios' Hall H panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego was the news that Academy Award-winner Mahershala Ali would be stepping into the vampire-hunting shoes of Blade, a role previously held by Wesley Snipes.
In the wake of fans of the former Blade expressing their anger over Snipes not being cast, the actor released a statement addressing their concerns. After wishing "Much peace to the MCU crew," Snipes went on to welcome and offer "congratulations...to Mahershala Ali, a beautiful and talented artist whose expressions I look forward to experiencing for many years to come."
Blade, Marvel's half-human vampire slayer, was created in 1973 by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan, with Snipes bringing the character to live-action for a successful trio of films in the late 90s and early 2000s. The original Blade trilogy is often cited as one of the most successful comic book adaptation series prior to the advent of the X-Men and original Spider-Man trilogy that spurred the modern-day love of superhero blockbusters.
No other information about the Ali-led reboot has been revealed, nor is it included in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ali, of course, is no stranger to the MCU, having played the ill-fated Cottonmouth in the first season of the Marvel/Netflix Luke Cage series.
At this time, no director or release date has been announced for Blade.