Luke Cage Showrunner Praises Mahershala Ali Casting as Blade

Each year, San Diego Comic-Con is packed with surprises for fans of television, movies, comics, games, and more and this year one of the biggest stunners came out of Marvel's Hall H presentation on Saturday. Near the end of the Marvel Studios presentation it was revealed that Mahershala Ali will be playing Blade. It was quite a shock for fans, especially with Ali having played Cottonmouth in Netflix's Luke Cage, but while people attempted to process the exciting news, Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker had nothing but praise for the choice.

On Twitter, Coker praised the casting of Ali and reminded fans that, like MCU stars Chris Evans and Michael B Jordan before him, Ali can absolutely play more than one Marvel character without it taking away from things.

"Well...that's one way to bring back Cottonmouth from the dead. (Smile) Happy as hell for man Mahershala," Coker wrote. "And of course he can be in Luke Cage and play Blade. Chris Evans and MBJ both played Johnny Storm and people of Cap and Killmonger first..."

As fans know, Ali played Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes, owner of the Harlem's Paradise nightclub and dealer in all sorts of illegal operations. He served as a major villain in Luke Cage's first season on Netflix before he was murdered by his cousin Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard) who then took over his empire. For some, that history within the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- albeit on the small screen side of things whose connection is generally tenuous at best -- was confusing. However, as Coker notes, Ali is just the latest actor to take on different Marvel characters.

Ali's casting as Blade may be exciting, but it will take some time for the character to make it to the big screen. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has since confirmed that the Blade film will not be part of Phase 4, but that doesn't make things any less exciting for the studio.


“We still think he’s a great character. He’s a really fun character,” Feige said in 2017. “We think this movie going into a different side of the universe would have the potential to have him pop up, but between the movies, the Netflix shows, the ABC shows there are so many opportunities for the character to pop up as you’re now seeing with Ghost Rider on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. That rather than team up with another studio on that character, let’s do something on our own. What that is? Where that will be? We’ll see."

Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall of 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If…? In Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021.