Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige announced plans to reboot their vampire movie franchise on at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday night (July 20), announcing that Mahershala will now star.
As Ali was unveiled as the new Blade, he donned a baseball cap bearing a "Blade" logo, and smiled to fans.
After the announcement, Feige told U.S. website Rotten Tomatoes that "Blade" is a key part of Marvel's plans for their cinematic universe after "Avengers: Endgame".
"We have, for years, wanted to find a new way into 'Blade', we love that character," he said. "We love that world. Now with Dr. Strange and the supernatural elements coming into the MCU, it felt like we could definitely start exploring that."
He also said the idea for the reboot was primarily the "Green Book" star's idea.
"Mahershala wanted to come in and meet with us. And when Mahershala Ali wants to meet, you take the meeting. And I think he had just come off his second Academy Award," he explained. "And we were talking very polite, and he was talking about what a fan he is, and then he just cut right to it, and was like, 'Blade'. And we were like, 'yes.' "
The original 1998 "Blade" movie was a box office hit that spawned 2002 and 2004 sequels.