Following reports that Marvel is searching for someone to play a mystery role in Blade, WWE superstar Mustafa Ali threw his hat into the four-sided ring.
The description of the unnamed role lists the character as a "South Asian male, 20s-30s." The chosen actor must be willing to train for action scenes or have some fighting experience already. Several fans tagged Ali in the tweet on Twitter as, at 35 years old and with nearly 20 years experience as a professional wrestler, he fits the bill perfectly. Former police officer Ali responded himself saying that Marvel Studios was "looking for [him.]" He also asked his followers to help his tweet go viral.
Production for the new Blade movie isn't due to start until the summer. Mahershala Ali will play the lead role and he spoke of how he learned about the character through the Wesley Snipe-led Blade trilogy of the 1990s. "Well, only what I discovered, like everyone else in the late '90s with Wesley Snipes, you know," Mahershala said of his knowledge of the character. "And ... I don't think I even noticed how, at least at that time, how I was just accustomed to there not being black superheroes."
To many people, including Mahershala Ali, Snipes still is Blade and Ali knows that he will have to deliver a good performance to make the character his own. "What I look forward to is earning it," he said in a recent interview. "I look forward to earning... You know, there's an anticipation for it, there's an excitement for it that he owns -- that Mr. Snipes owns, you know? And so, in filling his shoes... I'm just working to earn my place in this... I'm just excited to get going and do the work."
The reboot of the Blade franchise as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was announced by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019. Mahershala Ali approached Marvel himself about bringing the character back and the project has the full support of Snipes. "I'm one thousand percent supportive of it. I think it's great," Snipes said of the reboot. He's also fully supportive of Ali's casting in the lead role, saying, "Go for it, my man." Snipes would also be open to a cameo, if the opportunity arose, saying, "You never know. Under the right circumstances, I'm open to play with everybody. I know that people associate me with that role."
Blade does not yet have a release date.
KEEP READING: Original Blade Actor Wesley Snipes Shows Support for Mahershala Ali