Marvel’s Blade Reboot Was Almost a TV Show Before Mahershala Ali Stepped In

The upcoming Blade reboot could have been radically different than what we’re going to end up getting. So much so that it was originally being eyed as a TV show instead of a movie. This, according to Mahershala Ali, who is on board to play the vampire hunter in a new movie set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Two-time Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali was recently a guest on The Tight Rope podcast. During the conversation, Ali revealed how he came around to playing Blade, explaining that his role on Netflix’s Luke Cage sparked his interest. At which point, the actor also revealed that now-defunct Marvel Television was looking to develop a new TV series centered around the character. Here’s what he had to say about it.

RELATED: Why Mahershala Ali Was Drawn to Blade More Than Any Other MCU Character

“I did this Marvel show for Netflix called ‘Luke Cage,’ right? So, in doing that show, the day it premiered I had turned to my agent and I had said, ‘What are they doing with ‘Blade?” Because I kept hearing that they were trying to find a way to remake it and put it back together, and it was exciting for me to get to be in that Marvel space in TV, but for me, my goal had always been film. So, there was this long process of them speaking about, at least in the television division, really wanted to make it a TV show again, but not necessarily, trying to acquire the rights still, and some thing’s kinda going on, so it took a couple of years…”

There is a lot to unpack there. First, some Marvel fans might get hung up on the “again” part. Blade was indeed turned into a very short-lived and maligned TV series in 2006. Lasting just one season, it’s easy to forget. Especially since Wesley Snipes, who played the character in the previous trilogy of movies, was not involved.

Speaking of Wesley Snipes, before the Blade reboot was announced last year, the actor had revealed he had not one but two possible projects in the works with Marvel. Could it be that Snipes was being eyed for a Blade TV show? It is not out of the realm of possibility. But Marvel Television was shut down last year, with Marvel Studios taking things over from here on out. That’s why shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision are going to be far more tied to the movie side of the MCU.

As far as the new Blade movie goes, Marvel Studios is currently looking for writers to pen the screenplay. There is no director attached at this point. So we probably won’t be seeing it until 2023 at the earliest at this point. Disney recently had to shuffle around its release calendar again, which pushed back the entire Phase 4 of the MCU. That surely pushed back the timeline for Blade as well. We’ll keep you posted as further details come to light. You can hear the full interview with Mahershala Ali on his episode of The Tight Rope podcast.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb

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