Mahershala Ali: New Blade movie was initially a TV show

Blade is officially coming to the Marvel Cinematic Unvierse, but at first, it was going to be a TV show rather than a movie. Was it a good change?

When Kevin Feige announced during San Diego Comic-Con 2019 that famed vampire killer Blade would finally be coming to the MCU, it was met with huge applause and excitement. We even learned that Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali would be the next actor to play the badass vampire hunter!

Ali is no stranger to the Marvel universe, having played Cottonmouth in Luke Cage, but now he’ll be on the big screen in an iconic, popular role. But according to Ali, it could have gone another way.

Blade has popped up in both the movies and on TV before. By far the most famous portrayal of the character was from Wesley Snipes in Blade (1998), Blade II (2002) and Blade: Trinity (2004). David S. Goyer also brought us a Blade TV series, which was kind of a reboot/sequel to the original movie trilogy. That one ran for one season on Spike in 2006.

Speaking on The Tight Rope podcast, Ali explained that his role in Luke Cage assisted him in landing Blade. “So, in doing [Luke Cage], the day it premiered I turned to my agent and I 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.”

But that took some convincing. “There was this long process of them speaking about, at least in the television division, really wanting to make it a TV show again.”

Ultimately, however, the decision was made to make a proper Blade movie. I think it’s a good idea. For me, he’s an iconic Marvel hero who deserves his moment on the big screen. Ali has got some work to do if he wants to be as successful as Wesley Snipes, who’s the first name you think of with the character. I think he’s got what it takes.

As it’s still very early days for the Blade movie, Marvel is still on the lookout for a director. Mark Tonderai (Locke and Key, Black Lightning) recently threw his name into the mix. Speaking to Comic Book Movie, Tonderai explained why he would be the perfect candidate. “I’d love to do Blade,” he said. “Blade, for me, is right up my street in terms of my sensibilities.”

As he’s a popular character, I expect a lot more directors to get their names out there. Watch this space.

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