We already know that Mahershala Ali will play the new Blade in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe reboot. But how exactly did the Academy Award winner get the coveted role? Interestingly, the Alita: Battle Angel star revealed that he actively pursued the role because of his unexpected connection to Wesley Snipes.
Ali recently spoke to The Tight Rope where he revealed that he became interested in playing Eric Brooks while working on Luke Cage and immediately asked if a reboot was being planned once the Marvel show premiered on Netflix.
"The day it premiered I had turned to my agent and I had said, what are they doing with Blade? Because I kept hearing that they were trying to find a way to remake it and put it back together, and it was exciting for me to get to be in that Marvel space in TV, but for me, my goal had always been film," Ali said.
The Moonlight star continued that he wanted to be involved in both film and television when it comes to Marvel. Ali then confirmed that the reason why he was so eager to take on the role was that he was somehow connected to Snipes.
"I definitely had a connection, at least in my mind, to Wesley Snipes going way back to high school when people used to joke and say we looked alike, and all this stuff," he said. "It was really my participation in Luke Cage that sparked the idea, married with being so inspired by Wesley Snipes' work."
Although it took some time, it was definitely worth the wait. Ali's casting was confirmed during last year's San Diego Comic-Con and we're hoping that the film will be in active development soon.
Ali's latest project is the animated series Invincible, which will air on Amazon Prime next year.