Wesley Snipes was so classy about Mahershala Ali taking over ‘Blade’

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I don’t think the youths really understand how Wesley Snipes was truly THE MAN in the 1990s. He was everywhere, he did amazing work, and he was such a huge star. In the span of that decade, he was doing Spike Lee joints, Rising Sun (a huge movie), huge action films and comedies and prestige drama too. In 1998, he starred in Blade, and he would go on to make two more Blade movies. His life and career fell apart for a number of years – he was in prison for three years for failing to pay his taxes (2010-2013), but he’s still working and doing things.

Well, at Marvel’s presentation over the weekend, Mahershala Ali was revealed to be the “New Daywalker” for Blade. Kevin Feige told Comic Con how it came about:

“We have, for years, wanted to find a new way into Blade. We love that character. 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. Mahershala wanted to come in and meet with us. And when Mahershala wants to meet, you take the meeting. And I think he had just come off of his second Academy Award. 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.’

[Via Cinema Blend]

So Mahershala approached Marvel and pitched a redo of Blade. Does OG Blade – Wesley Snipes – mind this at all? No, he doesn’t. He couldn’t have been classier about the whole thing. He issued a statement about Mahershala taking over Blade:

“To all the DAYWALKERS losing their minds right now, chillaaxx. Although the news comes as a surprise, it’s ALL GOOD. Such is the ‘business’ of ‘entertainment!’ Much peace to the MCU crew – always a fan. Honor and respect to the grandmaster Stan. Congratulations and Salaam to Mahershala Ali, a beautiful and talented artist whose expressions I look forward to experiencing for many years to come. Inshallah, we will someday work together. Most importantly to my loyal fans, the incredible outpouring of love is overwhelming. I am grateful for the never-ending support. So, ‘nah fret nah worry, it’s not de end of de story.’ Welcome to the Daywalker Klique.”

[From Comicbook]

This led me to googling “is Wesley Snipes Muslim?” to which I learned that he converted from Christianity to Islam in 1978, but then left Islam in 1988. Huh. Mahershala IS Muslim, so Wesley was likely just being respectful to Ali, which is really nice. Anyway, I didn’t know what to expect from Wesley at this point, but I’m glad he was so great about it. Maybe Marvel can even find a way to bring Wesley into the franchise or something.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of Blade, Getty.

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24 Responses to “Wesley Snipes was so classy about Mahershala Ali taking over ‘Blade’”

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  1. Valiantly Varnished says:

    A word from a Muslim: you don’t have to be Muslim to say In Shah Allah. It literally just means “God willing” in Arabic. Arab Christians say it as well. Just like Allah simply means God in Arabic. And Arab Christians say Allah. And Salaam is a common greeting. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk

    • Betsy says:

      Does that vary regionally? I started to say “ saalam” to a Muslim friend and she said that’s strictly for Muslims to say to one another. I figured she’d know, so I don’t say it.

      • Des says:

        In the diaspora at least it isn’t controversial for a non-Muslim to say salaam to a Muslim because it’s literally like saying hi or hello in many countries. If you were in a non-Muslim country like the USA then maybe it might come across as othering rather than a sweet gesture if you were to say it to a Muslim. so maybe what she was saying is that she doesn’t appreciate you treating her different?

    • Jb says:

      That’s actually helpful to know! Thank ya

    • JAC says:

      Mašala is a very common saying in the Balkans as well, even among Christians.

    • Tee says:

      We say “ojala” is Puerto Rico, meaning God willing. Comes from inshallah, many, many, many years ago.

  2. Melissa says:

    I’m sure Marvel will find some way to include Wesley in the new movie. Also, big applause to Wesley for being gracious and not inciting fans. Franchises reboot all the time with new stars. No actor owns a superhero character.

    It’s not personal, it’s just show business.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Exactly. Wesley was very gracious about it and he was Blade and it’s an iconic role that will always be associated with him. But he has aged out of the role. And I honestly can’t think of anyone better for it than Mahershala. Also – it’s not like Mahershala needed to call Wesley for permission to play the part. The character is Marvel’s – not Wesley’s.
      I also love that Mahershala went to Marvel and was basically like “I’m Blade”. And they were like, “yes you are.” That’s a boss *ss move and I’m here for it.

  3. Wisca says:

    Snipes is basically saying: I want in. And I hope he is able to get into the new franchise, considering he went to prison for three years for MUCH MUCH LESS–like Lauryn Hill–than trump.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Nah. He was being gracious. That ship has sailed for him.

    • SKF says:

      Yeah I think he wants in. A lot of fans are pushing for him to be the new Whistler or some other mentor character. The thing is, he has been trying to get a fourth Blade movie made for years and said, just a year or so ago, that he’d been having a lot of conversations with Marvel about it and they were trying to find a way to make it work. Considering the entire current MCU owes its existence to his Blade films, it was pretty disrespectful for them to not give him the heads up that they WERE going ahead with a new Blade film; but without him. I hope they do include him in this new film.

  4. broodytrudy says:

    I would be surprised if Marvel works him in. Snipes was notoriously difficult to work with. And don’t forget what he did to Halle Berry. If Marvel is smart, they won’t touch him with a 10 foot pole.

    • kerwood says:

      Snipes isn’t the one who beat Halle Berry. it was some else, a football player, I believe.

    • AppleTartin says:

      It wasn’t Halle Berry it was Jennifer Lopez he sexually harassed her during the making of Money Train. She declined his advances and in retaliation. He made the director write a sex scene that made her uncomfortable and was completely unnecessary and gratuitous. But he was the big star at the time and he threw his weight around.

  5. Eliza says:

    Wesley was huge. And was a major player. His conceal carrying a semi-automatic weapon, tax issues, police chase, and suing the movie houses all piled up and no one wanted to hire him anymore. He was untouchable then unhireable in such a short time frame.

    Mahershala is one of my favorite actors. So I’m so happy for him. But I do hope Wesley gets some role in the movie, but maybe it would pull away from the new cast?

  6. Digital Unicorn says:

    I must admit I am a fan of the Blade movies – I loved the first one esp as Stephen Dorff is in it (he’s one of my dirty crushes). Snipes is problematic and am sure there are many MeToo stories about him so Marvel would be wise to stay clear. Mahershala is a great choice and I look forward to seeing him take on the Daywalker.

  7. Original Jenns says:

    I thought the title was being sarcastic, so it was a nice surprise to find out it was real.

  8. Jb says:

    I loved Blade and even watched all the sequels including the ones with Ryan Reynolds and that moronic anti vaxxer. The first was the best but excited for the reboot!!

  9. M3 says:

    I don’t know what it is about Kevin F., but every time I see a photo of him, I think “Ew.” Maybe its the baseball cap. You’re rich. Marvel Studios did everything insiders said it wouldn’t. You’ve got power. At a certain age, baseball caps have to go.

  10. The Recluse says:

    It’s okay. We got to have a Snipes cameo in What We Do in the Shadows so it’s all good.
    He is part of the canon.

  11. babsjohnson says:

    I carry a massive crush on Wesley snipes. He was SO hot back in the days especially in Mo better blues. I’ve been lovin him since