Avengers star Mark Ruffalo posed with future Marvel star Mahershala Ali at the 2020 Oscars, where Ruffalo presented the Academy Awards for Best Documentary and Best Documentary Short Subject. In Ruffalo's photo shared from the Oscars red carpet, the Hulk actor is posed with Little Women star Timothée Chalamet — who was once on the reported shortlist to play a rebooted Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a role ultimately won by Tom Holland — and Ali, who starred as Cottonmouth in Netflix's Luke Cage before winning the role of Erik Brooks, a.k.a. vampire hunter Blade, in Marvel Studios' upcoming Blade reboot planned for Phase Five.
After Ali won his second Best Supporting Actor Academy Award at the 2019 Oscars for his role in Green Book, the star put in a call to Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige and requested to play Blade, the Marvel Comics monster hunter famously played by Wesley Snipes in a trilogy between 1998 and 2004.
"When Mahershala calls, you answer," Feige previously told The Hollywood Reporter. The star actor and star producer arranged a meeting where, Feige said, Ali "came right out and said that he wanted to do Blade."
Months after that meeting, at San Diego Comic-Con in July, Feige made a surprise announcement when revealing a rebooted Blade as part of Marvel Studios' Phase Five plans. Unlike Ali, Ruffalo is less sure of his future in the MCU, which closed out its first 11-year chapter when sending off founding Avengers Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers: Endgame.
Ran into some friends at the #Oscars tonight!February 10, 2020
"I don't know," Ruffalo said on The Graham Norton Show earlier this week when asked about Hulk's future. "Who knows, really. It is supposed to be over and [Avengers: Endgame] was supposed to be the end."
In November, Ruffalo told PEOPLE Now he would talk to Feige about continuing on in his role in upcoming Disney+ series She-Hulk, part of Marvel's Phase Four. In the Marvel comic books, She-Hulk is Bruce Banner's cousin.
"I don’t know. I’m supposed to go talk to Mr. Feige, the great, mysterious Mr. Feige, to see if there’s some place [for Banner to appear]," Ruffalo said on She-Hulk. Asked if he hopes to appear, he answered, "Sure, why not? It’s been a great ride."1comments
Marvel Studios has yet to reveal release dates for Blade and She-Hulk.
Upcoming Marvel Studios productions include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and WandaVision in late 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, Spider-Man 3 on July 16, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022.