Former Blade actor Wesley Snipes is in full support of Marvel Studios' casting of Mahershala Ali as the titular vampire hunter in their upcoming reboot. Marvel shocked fans at its 2019 San Diego Comic-Con panel when it announced plans for a new Blade movie starring Ali. Although many fans found the news thrilling, some were upset that the franchise would return without Snipes in the lead role.
The three films in the Blade franchise, all starring Snipes, were early successes for Marvel, even before the studio had developed the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans feel like Snipes was the only person for the role, although the last film, Blade: Trinity, released over 15 years ago. It also seemed like Marvel had no interest left in the character, at least until they made the shocking announcement about a new Blade movie at SDCC. Marvel later explained that Ali, a two-time Academy Award winner, had come to them about portraying the character. Marvel couldn't refuse, and now Blade will officially make his arrival in the MCU.
Fans of the original Blade films, though, are still disappointed in the casting. However, Snipes sent a statement to ComicBook.com and offered his support to Ali, telling fans to "chillaaxx" and accept that there's a new Blade in town. He wrote:
“To all the DAYWALKERS losing their minds right now, chillaaxx. 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.”
This statement is a departure from a tweet Snipes posted in 2017 in which he suggested he was the only actor who should portray Blade. With many fans wanting to see Blade make his way into the MCU, Snipes insisted that if Blade 4 ever happened, he would gladly return to the role. Although a TV show produced by New Line was in the works in 2006, it never happened. The rights to Blade reverted back to Marvel in 2012, and by then Disney owned the company. In 2016, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige announced that the company had no plans for Blade at the time. It seems that Ali's call to Marvel, though, changed some minds.
Snipes is correct that this is how Hollywood sometimes works; fans don't always get what they want. He's also right, though, that fans should "chillaaxx" because it seems the character is in excellent hands with Ali. Marvel can now take the story even further than before and can bring the character into the MCU, allowing Blade to become an Avenger if that's what the story requires. It's also highly likely that Marvel will find a way to include Snipes in the new movie, either by bringing him in as a different character or for a cameo role.
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