While there were many exciting announcements made during the Marvel Studios panel at San Diego Comic-Con this year, few were quite on the level of Mahershala Ali being revealed as the new Blade. It was the only project revealed during the presentation that audiences hadn’t at least heard about prior to the start of the Hall H festivities, and it’s thrilling that a two-time Oscar winner is going to play one of pop culture’s great vampire hunters.
The news has been greeted with tremendous enthusiasm – but it turns out there is one person who is just a tad bit bummed about the news. This individual is True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto, who apparently wanted the opportunity to team up with the actor on a different Marvel property.
This sentiment was shared by Pizzolatto on Mahershala Ali’s Instagram page, as the actor posted an image of Wesley Snipes in character as Blade out of respect for the movies of the past. Actors, filmmakers, and other celebrities, including Lupe Fiasco, Neill Blomkamp, Alex Hibbert, and Mehcad Brooks, shared their enthusiastic thoughts on the casting in the comments section, but Pizzolatto’s response featured a hint of FOMO:
The name is misspelled, but clearly Nic Pizzolatto is referencing the fight-by-night vigilante character Moon Knight, who has been on a wide variety of adventures in the pages of Marvel Comics since the 1970s. A fan favorite, readers have been hoping for years to have the opportunity to someday see the dark Avenger portrayed in live-action, but despite a fair amount of chatter nothing concrete has yet materialized. And while Mahershala Ali could have been a good choice for the role, his position in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now carved out.
Of course, at this point we don’t actually know when a Blade movie is going to come together. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has admitted that the project wasn’t really born out of a specific idea, or a filmmaker’s creative approach, but instead simply Mahershala Ali’s interest in the character (to paraphrase Ghostbusters, when a two-time Oscar winner wants to take on a role in your massive big screen franchise, you say yes). As a result, the project isn’t set up to be a part of the announced Phase Four action, and it may not even be a movie made during Phase Five – which is already projected to be filled with features like Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2, and potentially The Fantastic Four.
When we actually get to see a Blade movie will depend on the speed at which Marvel operates to start putting the project together, and that all will start with the search for a director with a proper vision for what the film could be.
As for Nic Pizzolatto, he’s clearly excited for the chance to work with Mahershala Ali again after their collaboration on the third season of True Detective, and some day he may get his shot – perhaps in the making of a Marvel Studios movie, perhaps not. We’ll just have to wait and see how the stars wind up aligning.
Our anticipation for the new Blade will keep us on the sharp lookout for updates in the coming days, weeks, months, and years, so be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for all the latest bits of news. And to see what else is ahead in the future for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, be sure to check out our Upcoming Marvel Movies guide.