Mahershala Ali's upcoming turn as Blade surprised quite a lot of people when it was announced last weekend -- including one of his future Marvel Cinematic Universe co-stars. In a recent interview with Variety, Guardians of the Galaxy star spoke about Marvel's Phase 4 announcements and expressed quite a lot of excitement about Ali's casting.
“Oh my God, I cannot wait to see Blade. That to me is going to be so sick,” Pratt revealed. “I’m a huge fan of the original [starring Wesley Snipes as the vampire vigilante]. Mahershala Ali as Blade, when I heard that I was like ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to see that.’"
Ali's casting as Blade - much less news that the character would be officially rebooted for the MCU - certainly took fans by surprise. As Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recently revealed, Ali playing Blade came about in an equally-unexpected way, with the actor calling up Marvel and expressing an interest in playing the role after winning his second Oscar for Green Book.
“When Marhershala calls, you answer,” Feige explained.
Unfortunately, it sounds like it might be a while until Blade hits the big screen, as Feige has since confirmed that the film will not be a part of Phase 4. But even then, it sounds like Marvel Studios is excited to get their hands on the character.
“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.