Mahershala Ali Will Be The Star Of Marvel’s New Blade Franchise

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Mahershala Ali is one of Hollywood’s top power players of the last five years. However, the two-time Oscar winner in “The Best Supporting Actor” category is seeking leading roles, coming off his The Green Book win earlier this year. The 45-year-old Hayward, California native is taking his work into his own hands, and making it happen.

Yesterday (July 21) at San Diego, California’s Comic-Con, Ali was confirmed to be the new lead actor in the Blade franchise. Mahershala is reviving the part-vampire Marvel character more than 20 years after Wesley Snipes’ three-film-series launched, grossing more than $200 million at the box office. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told The Hollywood Reporter that Mahershala Ali called, seeking the role before he was under any consideration. “When Mahershala calls, you answer,” Feige said, suggesting that the Marvel team accepted the offer just shortly after Ali’s second Academy Awards win.

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Last year, Ali did voice work for Marvel Entertainment’s Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. Previously, he appeared as “Cornell ‘Cottonmouth’ Stokes” in the Netflix series, Luke Cage.

Blade dates back more than 45 years. The character first appeared in 1973’s The Tomb Of Dracula #10. Apart from comics and film, the character spawned a 2006 TV series. The protagonist was then-played by ONYX co-founder Sticky Fingaz. His Rap band-mate Fredro Starr also appeared in the lone season for Spike TV.

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Earlier this year, Ali starred in the third season of HBO’s True Detective.