Original Blade Writer Praises Mahershala Ali as Character, "I Can't Think of Anyone Better"

Blade trilogy writer David S. Goyer has nothing but praise for Mahershala Ali as the new MCU Blade.

The writer of Wesley Snipes' original Blade movie has nothing but praise for Marvel's new Blade actor Mahershala Ali.

"Mahershala is A-mazing!" Goyer enthusiastically told Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, adding "I mean, I can't think of anyone better to take on the mantle of that." 

Longtime Marvel fans may look at Goyer's praise of Mahershala Ali and spot subtext about what is not being said. The second directorial job Goyer took on was helming the third Blade film, Blade: Trinity; it was a production where Goyer and Wesley Snipes had an infamous butting of heads. Snipes didn't agree with Goyer's script or New Line's choice to make him the director of the film; during the shoot, Snipes allegedly refused to film scenes or communicate with Goyer, and ultimately Goyer has been quoted as calling the making of Blade: Trinity "the most personally and professionally difficult and painful thing I've ever been through," and he and Snipes were estranged for years afterward. 

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Blade: Trinity 

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So Goyer praising the new Blade is understandable. Having been through the fire himself, he also understands the difficulty Marvel Studios has had with making the new Blade. "They've clearly had struggle after struggle after struggle with it. So I'm really curious to see where it goes – but also, I believe that it should be someone else's story to tell now," he added. 

Goyer gained big fame for writing the Dark Knight trilogy and Man of Steel alongside Christopher Nolan, but he first cut his teeth in the '90s trying to make genre fare into blockbuster successes, including The Crow: City of Angels, Dark City, the Nick Fury: Agent of Shield TV movie – and, of course, the Blade trilogy. He and director Stephen Norrington and Wesley Snipes achieved something groundbreaking: a violent, horror-themed, R-rated superhero movie, led by a Black protagonist. 

In that context, the irony that Marvel is now looking at Blade as one of its most pivotal new Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises is not lost on Goyer.

"It's ironic because, at the time that we made Blade, Marvel was in bankruptcy; X-Men hadn't come out; I think they were trying to develop, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Spider-Man... There was no thought that they would ever develop any of the secondary or tertiary characters," Goyer explained. "And I think the purchase price... from Marvel was like $125,000. Nothing. And Marvel was so concerned and wanted it at arm's length once they heard that it was going to be R-rated. They didn't have the logo on the film either – and then it became this massive success and they realized they had this treasure trove of characters that they could exploit. But it's ironic that now they want to bring Blade into the MCU, because they didn't want Blade to have anything to do with the MCU. They were afraid of Blade, and just assumed it would be a black mark on their reputation – no pun intended."

Marvel's Blade is in development.