Wesley Snipes has spoken up following Marvel’s announcement that the Blade franchise was receiving a reboot with Mahershala Ali in the starring role.
The announcement was made over the weekend at San Diego Comic-Con that Mahershala Ali will play the half-mortal and half-immortal vampire slayer, and Snipes says “It’s all good,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Although the news comes as a surprise, it’s all good,” Snipes said. In the David S. Goyer franchise, Snipes portrayed the title role, which started in 1998 with the original and was followed by Blade II and Blade: Trinity. Collectively, they’ve grossed more than $400 million at the global box office.
The films have been credited by Marvel fans for laying the groundwork for what the powerhouse Marvel Cinematic Universe has become. They feel as if Blade was the first successful film that came from Marvel after several duds. Hence the reason that some social media users felt as if the announcement was a slap in the face to Wesley Snipes.
Snipes had previously mentioned that he wished to be a part of the Marvel Comics Universe again. However, Snipes told frustrated fans to chill, in a statement to Comicbook.com. “To all the DAYWALKERS losing their minds right now, chillaaxx,” he said in the statement. “Although the news comes as a surprise, it’s ALL good. Such is the ‘business’ of ‘entertainment!’ Much peace to the MCU crew – always a fan.”
He added, “Honor and respect to the grandmaster Stan,” he said, a reference to the late Marvel creator Stan Lee. “Congratulations and Salaam to Mahershala Ali, a beautiful and talented artist whose expressions I look forward to experiencing for many years to come. Inshallah, we will someday work together. Most importantly to my loyal fans, the incredible outpouring of love is overwhelming. I am grateful for the never-ending support. So, ‘nah fret nah worry, it’s not de end of de story.’ Welcome to the Daywalker Klique.”
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told THR that Ali gave the studio a call after winning the Oscar for his role in Green Book. “When Mahershala calls, you answer,” Feige recalled. “At the meeting, Ali came right out and said that he wanted to do Blade. That was that.”
In 2018, Snipes told THR that he was “very much open to all of the possibilities” when it came to portraying the character again. “If Blade 4 comes along, that is a conversation we can have. And there are other characters in the Marvel universe that, if they want to invite me to play around with, I am with that too. I think the fans have a hunger for me to revision the Blade character, so that could limit where they could place me as another character in that universe,” Snipes said.