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Mahershala Ali Speaks on Why He Wanted the Lead Role in ‘Blade’

Mahershala Ali spoke about the role on The Tight Rope podcast.

Recently, the Tight Rope podcast welcomed Mahershala Ali to the show. Hosts Dr. Cornell West and Professor Tricia Rose spoke to the actor about his personal life and his upcoming role in Marvel’s reboot of the 1998 film Blade. As it turns out, Ali just happened to take a shot in the dark. Stream the full episode below.

“It was really my participation in Luke Cage that started the idea,” Ali said. “Married with being so inspired by Wesley Snipes’ work and what he had done and how much had changed since his iteration of Blade and how that had really kind of ushered in this era of this Marvel and DC sort of comic book stuff. So for me, I just felt like since they were having conversations about bringing it back into being, I just wanted to be considered for it.”

Ali reached out to his agent to check on the status of the Blade intellectual property, and the rest is history. Given Ali’s personal connection with Snipes, the move made sense.

“I definitely had a connection,” Ali continued, “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.” Ali mentioned that friends in high school would call him “Shadow,” a nod to Snipes’ character in Mo’ Better Blues.

However, the project has yet to begin production. Marvel has called out for Black writers to contribute to the reboot. Stay tuned for further updates regarding the upcoming Blade movie.

Torry Threadcraft

Torry Threadcraft is a writer who covers music, sports, and culture. You can find his daily ramblings and culinary takes at @dreadcraft.

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