Following the big Comic-Con announcement that Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali will play the half-vampire antihero in a forthcoming movie set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Snipes promised he’s “all good” with it and praised Ali’s acting chops.
“To all the DAYWALKERS losing their minds right now, chillaaxx,” he said in a statement provided to EW by his rep. “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.”
Snipes starred as the character in 1998’s Blade, 2002’s Blade II, and 2004’s Blade Trinity. All three came with an R rating and explored the supernatural-infused horror side of Marvel comics.
Blade, a.k.a. Eric Brooks, is a half-vampire vampire hunter with the ability to walk in the daylight, thanks to his human side. Hence the name “Daywalker.”
In 2016, Snipes tweeted about the prospect of doing more movies, “When it comes to another BLADE, there’s alway was a possibility… Ball’s in Marvel’s court.”
During Comic-Con, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige unveiled the Phase Four lineup of films that will come after Spider-Man: Far From Home. Ali stepped out for one last surprise during the panel presentation to reveal his casting. Feige later told Collider that this new Blade will not be part of Phase Four.
“We have, for years, wanted to find a new way into Blade. We love that character. We love that world,” he also told Fandango in a separate interview. “Now with Doctor Strange and the supernatural elements coming into the MCU, it felt like we could definitely start exploring that. Mahershala wanted to come in and meet with us, and when Mahershala Ali wants to meet, you take the meeting. I think he had just come off of his second Academy Award, and we were talking very polite and he was talking about what a fan he is. And then he just cut right to it and was like ‘Blade.’ And we were like, ‘Yes.'”