Blade is technically the grandfather of Marvel’s cinematic ventures. When the Stephen Norrington-directed film was released in 1998, it revolutionized not only superhero films for many years to come, but also played an integral role in representation within cinemas. Soon, Mahershala Ali will take on that very role as part of a wider universe, the fittingly titled Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While still professionally avoiding questions on the project, Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast got a chance to ask the actor how he was introduced to the character. It seems, he went through the same story as many of us, as he states that:
Well, only what I discovered like everyone else in the 90s with Wesley Snipes. […] I don’t think the guy even notice how at that time I was just accustomed to there not being black superheroes. The best you got was, like, He-Man, there was, I forget the character’s name in that, there was supposed to be a black character. At least, he was voiced by a black guy and modeled after a black guy, […] but you just weren’t seeing anyone. Once Spawn came out and Blade, then it was really exciting just to have some superheroes that look like you.Mahershala Ali
It once again highlights how rare it was back in the day for kids of any age to feel represented in media. While downplayed, many kids from different backgrounds look for heroes they can look up to. So, there’s an important reason why Ali is tacking on the role and its importance of carrying on the torch that was lit by Black Panther, as he also briefly discusses in the podcast.