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Mahershala Ali sees Blade as his Black Panther, which explains why he hasn't walked away from it yet

As far as passion projects go, it is a good one

Mahershala Ali in Green Book
Image credit: Universal Pictures

After almost five years in development, two directors, a discarded giant train set, and still not a single frame of the movie shot, it might be hard to imagine what keeps Mahershala Ali from moving on from Blade to other projects. Surely the Oscar winner can’t stay attached to a film that doesn’t appear to be going anywhere forever, right? Turns out Ali has high hopes for Blade in the same way Chadwick Boseman did for Black Panther.

According to sources, Ali sees Blade as his shot at a Black Panther type of legacy – a major superhero movie with a Black lead that, after so long of fans waiting for it to arrive, is almost guaranteed to do massive numbers at the box office. That would explain why he has been so eager to stay with the project, even though it has seen multiple delays over the years due to the pandemic, the 2023 Writers and Actors’ strikes, and changes in direction due to creative and corporate shifts.

That feeling that Blade could be Mahershala Ali’s Black Panther could be why he has been a driving force behind keeping the film from being abandoned. He originally pitched the film to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige many years ago, and has been unusually involved in its development, going so far as to pick Blade’s second director and at least one of its writers.

We hope that Mahershala Ali’s dedication to seeing Blade return to the big screen pays off, as the Green Book actor has reportedly missed out on at least three other projects in the time he’s been attached to this one. Whether it ever becomes the cultural icon that Black Panther became remains to be seen.

Popverse has assembled everything you need to know about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, from our MCU watch order to a guide to upcoming Marvel movies and TV shows. Plus, we've taken the time to rank the entire MCU and compile the biggest outstanding questions from Marvel's connected films. Enjoy.

Trent Cannon

Trent Cannon: Trent is a freelance writer who has been covering anime, video games, and pop culture for a decade. (He/Him)


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