Wesley Snipes is 'all good' with being replaced for Marvel's 'Blade' reboot

Wesley Snipes as Blade (Credit: New Line/Marvel)
Wesley Snipes as Blade (Credit: New Line/Marvel)

While Marvel was announcing its grand plans for its phase four and five movies and show, some of us were sparing a thought for Wesley Snipes.

Snipes was the original Blade, aka Eric Brooks, the sword-wielding half-vampire vampire hunter in 1998's Blade, then again in Blade II in 2002 and Blade: Trinity in 2004.

Though delivering diminishing returns (Blade II was helmed by Guillermo Del Toro, no less), they remained cult favourites among comic book fans.

Then at Comic Con in San Diego over the weekend, it was announced that House of Cards and Green Book star Mahershala Ali is to pick up the katana sword, dashing any remaining hopes of Snipes somehow returning to the role.

But Snipe has said that he's very cool with the whole thing.

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In a statement to Entertainment Weekly via his agents, he said: “To all the DAYWALKERS losing their minds right now, chillaaxx.

“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. Honor and respect to the grandmaster Stan.

Mahershala Ali, center, wears a hat to promote his new movie "Blade" at the Marvel Studios panel on day three of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 20, 2019, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Mahershala Ali announcing new movie Blade at Comic-Con (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

“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.”

As recently as 2016, he'd told fans that he'd be open to playing the character once again, tweeting: “When it comes to another BLADE, there’s alway was a possibility… Ball’s in Marvel’s court.”

MCU boss Kevin Feige told Fandango of the plans: “We have, for years, wanted to find a new way into Blade. We love that character. We love that world.

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“Now with Doctor Strange and the supernatural elements coming into the MCU, it felt like we could definitely start exploring that.

“Mahershala wanted to come in and meet with us, and when Mahershala Ali wants to meet, you take the meeting. I think he had just come off of his second Academy Award, and we were talking very polite and he was talking about what a fan he is. And then he just cut right to it and was like ‘Blade.’ And we were like, ‘Yes.'”