Marvel revealed at San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend that two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali has been cast to portray Blade in an upcoming adaptation for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Ali will take over the role that was famously brought to life in the late 1990s and early 2000s by actor Wesley Snipes. Interestingly, Snipes has publicly stated, multiple times, that he would be more than willing to reprise his role as the martial artist Daywalker.
So now that Marvel has chosen to go with another face, how does the veteran actor feel about their decision? In a statement issued to ComicBook.com, Snipes said he is cool with it.
"To all the DAYWALKERS losing their minds right now, chillaaxx," he said. "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 [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."
He went on to thank his fans for their support over the years before ending his statement, "So, 'nah fret nah worry, it's not de end of de story.' Welcome to the Daywalker Klique."
Blade was created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist Gene Colan as a supporting character in the comic book "The Tomb of Dracula" #10 in July, 1973. Snipes quickly became the most known face of the character, playing the Daywalker three times in 1998's Blade (the first successful Marvel Comics film), 2002's Blade II and 2004's Blade Trinity.
(Photos from left: Michael Caulfield/WireImage, Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)