Oscar and Emmy Award-winning actor Mahershala Ali is jumping into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the new version of Blade, and apparently, Ali is already hard at work bulking up for the role. In a new interview with Stephen Colbert, Mahershala Ali was unpacking the recent reveal that his MCU version of played already made his debut. (SPOILERS) In the post-credits scene of Marvel's Eternals, human character Dane Whitman (Kit Harrington) is visited by Blade, as Dane is the heir to a blood-cursed sword known as the Ebony Blade. We only got to hear Blade in Eternals, but apparently the sight of him will be something different...
As Mahershala Ali tells Colbert during his recent appearance on The Late Show:
"Like I was losing sleep over this line because, ideally, you want to be talking once you are filming. And 100% of the times, my first day on any set, on any job, I hate it. Like, I hate how I sound, I don't believe myself, you know, and so you're trying to like get comfortable in the character. So to have to talk before you're even actually filming was challenging, but I'm grateful for it, because it made it feel real. I made it... It's like 'Okay, now we're going.'"
Colbert liked that deep existential artist's dread well enough, but he also need to know the real paydirt: just how "swole" will Mahershala Ali have to get to play Blade?
"Yeah, I gotta get swole and jacked," Ali confirmed with a smirk. He then confirmed with a nod and a "Yep," that Marvel Studios already has him on a fitness regiment, but dodged question of any details by joking he's doing the routine that gives Colbert his figure. Colbert parried that back by stating his only workout is "Coffee and Ricola."
There's still very little we know about the MCU version of Blade, other than the creative team. The director is Bassam Tariq, working from a script by writer Stacy Osei-Kuffor (HBO's Watchmen). Mahershala Ali is of course in the starring role, with longtime character actor Delroy Lindo (The Harder They Fall) cast in an undisclosed role that many fans believe could be the new version of Blade's mentor, vampire-hunter Abraham Whistler. Some deeper rumors point to the story possibly involving Blade having to connect and train his own daughter in the family trade of slaying.
Marvel's Blade is expected to be released in 2023.