Looks like Mahershala Ali is getting a legendary co-star in Marvel Studios’ Blade. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Delroy Lindo is in negotiations to join the movie.
Since Marvel guards its secrets better than the CIA, we have no idea who Lindo could be playing. The most popular theory is that he’ll be Blade’s mentor/father figure Jamal Afari. This is the character Kris Kristofferson’s Whistler was based on in the original movies. Yeah, we know.
Blade follows the human/vampire hybrid as he hunts and kills vampires. While the character was always a cult favorite, he gained more prominence following Wesley Snipes’ memorable portrayal in the 1998-2004 film trilogy.
In 2019 at San Diego International Comic-Con, Ali was announced as the famed vampire hunter. Until recently, there was no movement on the character, and fans weren’t expecting him to appear for a while.
Spoilers for Eternals up ahead!
Seriously if you haven’t seen Eternals stop reading!
However, everything changed at the end of Eternals. The post-credits scene features Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman working up the courage to wield the powerful and dangerous Ebony Blade, when the off-screen voice of Ali as Blade asks, “Sure you’re ready for that Mr. Whitman?”
Ali discussed the excitement about his first performance as the Daywalker with Empire.
“It was scary. Because, you know, you’re talking before you’re filming it,” Ali said. “I’m pretty particular about my choices, like most actors, and so having to make some choices – even with a line, vocally – this early on, it brought up some very real anxieties. And it made the job real. It’s like, ‘Okay, this is happening now’, you know, and that’s exciting.”
Snipes has been supportive of Ali’s casting, offering advice and encouragement, per IndieWire.
“We spoke. We shared that the issue of him being cast wasn’t between us, you know, that business. I’m cool with it. I don’t walk around as Blade, so I’m not attached to the character like that, you know?,” Snipes said. “I feel no emotional loss. Zero. And I’m happy that he’s been cast, and more than likely he’ll do a great job.”
“Make sure you’re in shape, man. Make sure you’re in shape,” he continued. “Try not to get hurt. That’s big. The demands of action movies, you gotta be an elite athlete and be well-conditioned to survive it and to avoid injury. And enjoy it while it lasts.”
Though it doesn’t have an official release date yet, Blade will reportedly begin filming in summer 2022.