Mahershala Ali is the next Blade.
The news was announced during Marvel's panel at the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday as a surprise after the rest of the MCU's Phase 4 slate was unveiled. After the Black Widow news wrapped, Ali came out, donning a Blade baseball cap.
Wesley Snipes originally portrayed the half-vampire, half-mortal superhero and slayer of evil vampires in the 1998 film for New Line, which spawned two sequels.
Ali's recent work includes his Oscar-winning role in Green Book and his Emmy-nominated role in True Detective. He's also no stranger to Marvel, appearing as Cottonmouth in the Netflix series, Luke Cage, which was said to share continuity with the MCU but there was never a formal connection established between the Netflix series and the films. He also appeared in the critically-acclaimed Sony animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Marvel announced that their Phase 4 slate of both films and Disney+ television shows kicks off with Black Widow (May 2020), followed by The Eternals (November 2020), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (February 2021), WandaVision series (Spring 2021), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (May 2021), Loki series (Spring 2021), Falcon and Winter Soldier series (Fall 2021), Thor 4: Love and Thunder (November 2021), Untitled film (May 2022), Untitled film (July 2022).
The films that have been confirmed for the future (beyond 2021) but have no release date are: Black Panther 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3, Captain Marvel 2, Fantastic Four, Blade and an X-Men movie.
Major casting news at the Marvel panel also included Brian Tyree Henry and Lauren Ridloff have joined Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden and more in The Eternals, Tessa Thompson will return as the Queen of Asgard in Thor 4: Love and Thunder with Chris Hemsworth, and Natalie Portman as the female Thor, and that Teyonah Parris has been cast as Monica Rambeau in the MCU, first appearing in WandaVision, the Scarlet Witch and Vision series.
Even more information about these upcoming films and shows could be revealed at D23 next month.
Photo: Getty Images for Disney