Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige announced the news at Comic-Con on Saturday as the panel’s big ending surprise. Ali also took the stage at the announcement to massive applause, donning the Blade baseball cap.
Wesley Snipes previously played the half-vampire superhero in 1998’s “Blade” and its two sequels, “Blade II” and “Blade: Trinity.” Coincidentally, Feige was a co-producer on “Trinity.” The series focuses on the titular vigilante, a human who possesses vampire strengths and protect humans from vampires.
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) July 21, 2019
The character was one of the first of Marvel’s superheroes to become a notable hit as a film: Blade was released in 1998, starring Wesley Snipes as the titular vampire hunter, a role he’d go on to reprise in 2002 for Blade II, and in 2004 for Blade: Trinity. Marvel reacquired the rights to the character, as well as Ghost Rider and the Punisher back in 2013.
It’s not Ali’s first foray in the superhero world. Last year, he voiced the Prowler in the animated hit “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and also played the villain Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes in the first season of the Netflix/Marvel series “Luke Cage.”
“Blade” was only one of several big announcements made at Comic-Con. Among other big news: the full cast of “The Eternals” was revealed, “Shang-Chi” found its lead in Simu Liu and Natalie Portman is rejoining the Thor franchise.