BLADE Star Mahershala Ali On How He Discovered The Daywalker And The Rise Of Black Superheroes On Screen

Blade star Mahershala Ali has opened up on the lack of Black superheroes on screen when he was younger, revealing how he discovered the Marvel Comics character and sharing his thoughts on Black Panther.

While X-Men is often credited for the rise of superhero movies in Hollywood, Blade actually beat it to theaters. A game-changer at the time, Stephen Norrington's adaptation would spawn two sequels, one of which was great, and the other...not so much. Aside from a short-lived TV series starring Sticky Fingaz, the Daywalker has been on hiatus ever since, but he's now set to make his MCU debut. 

Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali will bring the character back to the big screen, and in a recent interview with Variety (via CBR), the actor opened up about following in the footsteps of Wesley Snipes. 

Asked about his knowledge of the character prior to being cast, Ali responded: "Well, only what I discovered, like everyone else in the late '90s with Wesley Snipes, you know. I don't think I even noticed how, at least at that time, how I was just accustomed to there not being Black superheroes."

"There was a - I forget the character's name in that - that was supposed to be like, a Black character," he said of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, addressing the lack of Black superheroes on screen during his youth. "He was voiced by a Black guy, and he was modeled off of a Black guy. I forget his name. Oh gosh, I'd have to look it up on IMDB or whatever. You just weren't seeing anyone."

"Once Spawn came out, and Blade, then it was really exciting just to have some superheroes that somewhat looked like you in that place," he continued. "And you see the impact that Black Panther has had on the culture. Which goes beyond either of those projects. [That's] a story that's more suited and set up better for an audience to get behind. And then you have what Chadwick did with the role, and everybody else [in the film] that just kind of took it to a whole other level."

Ali is clearly passionate about the level of representation he can bring to the MCU as Blade, hopefully making it so that young fans can see themselves on screen in a way he never could. There's a huge amount of excitement surrounding what the actor will bring to this role, and cameras are expected to begin rolling sometime in 2022 for a possible 2023 release. 

Keep checking back here for updates on Blade!

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