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Blade Star Says Wesley Snipes Still Owns the Role

Blade star Mahershala Ali says Wesley Snipes still “owns” the title role, though he is looking forward to “earning it.”

Blade star Mahershala Ali is eager to “earn” his place as Marvel’s resident vampire hunter, saying the role and the excitement it brings still belong to Wesley Snipes.

“What I look forward to is earning it,” Ali said during a recent interview with Jake Hamilton of Jake’s Takes. “I look forward to earning… You know, there’s an anticipation for it, there’s an excitement for it that he owns — that Mr. Snipes owns, you know? And so, in filling his shoes… I’m just working to earn my place in this… I’m just excited to get going and do the work.”

RELATED: Blade Director Highlights The ‘Exciting’ Lack of Canon

Created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan, the character of Eric Brooks/Blade first appeared in The Tomb of Dracula #10, which was published by Marvel Comics in 1973. Wesley Snipes famously brought the character to live-action in director Stephen Norrington’s 1998 film Blade, which has been credited with helping to usher in the modern era of Marvel movies. Snipes subsequently reprised his role as Eric Brooks in director Guillermo del Toro’s Blade II in 2002 and director David S. Goyer’s Blade: Trinity in 2004.

At San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige officially confirmed that the studio was developing a film reboot of Blade as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ali was announced to be starring in the title role, having approached Marvel about the project himself.

RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Blade Trilogy Writer Weighs In on the Vampire Hunter’s MCU Reboot

Ali is the third person to play Blade in live-action, following Snipes in New Line Cinema’s Blade film trilogy and Kirk “Sticky Fingaz” Jones on Blade: The Series, which aired on Spike in 2006. The new Blade movie also marks Ali’s second major Marvel project, with the actor having previously portrayed antagonist Cornell “Cottonmouth” on the Netflix series Marvel’s Luke Cage in 2016.

Snipes himself recently endorsed Ali’s casting as Blade and confirmed that the two had spoken on the matter. “We spoke,” Snipes told journalist Kevin Polowky earlier this month. “The issue of him being cast wasn’t between us. That was business. I’m cool with it. I don’t walk around as Blade, so I’m not attached to the character like that. I feel no emotional loss. Zero. I’m happy that he’s been recast and more than likely will do a great job.”

RELATED: Mahershala Ali Unpacks His First Time Playing the MCU’s Blade – ‘It Was Scary’

Marvel Studios’ Blade is directed by Bassam Tariq from a script by Stacy Osei-Kuffour. Da 5 Bloods star Delroy Lindo has been tapped to star opposite Ali, though his role is being kept under wraps. The film does not currently have an official release date, though production is expected to begin next summer.

Source: YouTube

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