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Mahershala Ali reveals Blade was a TV show before he was cast

Mahershala Ali in True Detective
(Image credit: IMDb)

Mahershala Ali has revealed that Marvel was planning to reboot Blade as a TV show rather than a movie before he was cast.

The actor has worked with Marvel before, playing villain Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes in the first season of Netflix’s Luke Cage series – and it was back then when he approached the studio about playing Blade.

“So, in doing that show [Luke Cage], the day it premiered I turned to my agent and I said, ‘What are they doing with Blade?’” Ali told The Tight Rope (opens in new tab) podcast. “Because I kept hearing that they were trying to find a way to remake it and put it back together, and it was exciting for me to get to be in that Marvel space in TV, but for me, my goal had always been film.”

Ali also revealed that part of the reason he wanted to play Blade is that he was compared to Snipes in high school. “People used to joke and say that we looked alike and all this stuff,” he said.

Ali was cast as Blade at San Diego Comic Con in 2019, although the movie doesn’t have a release date yet and will be part of the MCU’s Phase 5. The original Blade trilogy starred Wesley Snipes as the vampire-hunting titular antihero. The first movie was released in 1998 and was an R-rated blood-and-guts fest – a far cry from the family-friendly output of the MCU. Guillermo del Toro directed the 2002 sequel and the final instalment came out in 2004.

At the moment, we don’t really know anything else about the project aside from Ali’s involvement – Marvel has yet to name a director or reveal any plot points. In the meantime, you can check out the rest of the MCU on Disney Plus – we’ve put together a list of the best movies on Disney Plus right now.

Emily Garbutt

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.