NME Festival blog: Wesley Snipes gives Mahershala Ali ‘Blade’ casting his blessing: “It’s all good”


Putting paid to fan discontent

Wesley Snipes has a message for Blade fans upset about Mahershala Ali’s casting as the vampire slayer in the new Marvel reboot: “Chillaaxx”.

On Tuesday (July 23), the original Blade actor gave a statement to ComicBook.com about Ali’s casting, which was revealed at Marvel’s San Diego Comic-Con panel this past weekend. Though fans at the panel and the internet at large received the casting rapturously, it seems some naysayers were still disappointed in the move.

“To all the DAYWALKERS losing their minds right now, chillaaxx,” Snipes said in his statement. “Although the news comes as a surprise, it’s ALL GOOD. Such is the ‘business’ of ‘entertainment!’ Much peace to the MCU [Marvel Cinematic Universe] crew – always a fan.”

He continued, “Honor and respect to the grandmaster Stan [Lee]. 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,” Snipes wrote.

Ali – who previously starred as villain Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes in Marvel’s Netflix show Luke Cage – clinched a second MCU role by personally calling Marvel Studios and telling them he wanted the role of Blade. As Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told The Hollywood Reporter, “when Mahershala calls, you answer.”

He takes up the mantle – or trench coat – of Snipes, who starred in the original trilogy between 1998 and 2004. The assassin character first appeared in the Marvel comics in 1973.

Besides the Blade reboot, at Comic-Con Marvel unveiled a slate of exciting films as part of the MCU’s fourth phase. These include Black Widow, The Eternals and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.





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