Marvel rocked the annual gathering of people who read cartoon books and dress up in capes on Saturday, revealing that Mahershala Ali will star in the reboot of the greatest black superhero movie since Meteor Man when the Oscar-winning actor assumes the role of the iconic vampire daywalker in Blade.
The announcement from Marvel Studios came during its panel at the San Diego Comic-Con International, Variety reports. After Marvel studio chief Kevin Feige introduced the stars and revealed the titles of the company’s upcoming slate of movies, the Disney-owned studio surprised the audience by bringing out Mahershala Ali to thunderous applause that may or may not have included a few nerd orgasms. The award-winning thespian embraced the other actors onstage, including Tom Hiddleston, who plays the role of Loki in the Thor series and serves as the Asgard ambassador to Wakanda.
Wesley Snipes starred in the original 1998 box office hit Blade, as well as the sequels Blade II and Blade: Trinity. (Fun fact: LL Cool J was the original choice to play the Blade character, while Marvel had already handpicked Snipes for another Marvel role that never would have worked as a movie—Black Panther.) The movie, based on a Marvel comic about a human/vampire hybrid with all of the powers of a vampire but none of the weaknesses, became a cult classic, forcing Snipes to wear leather trenchcoats and wraparound sunglasses for more than a decade.
While some still-salty Little Mermaid fans were probably hoping that Matthew McConaughey or Leonardo DiCaprio would land the role, the announcement predictably melted down Black Twitter into a gelatinous puddle of seasoned melanin, mirth and memes.
In 2016, Mahershala Ali won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the film Moonlight, making him the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award. Many people, including the cosplay nerds who get excited about comic book stories, expect Ali to be nominated for an Emmy for his performance in the 2019 season of “True Detective.”
And by “many people,” I mean me.
I am “many people.”
While Marvel has not announced a release date for Blade, “many people” have already sent their money to Fandango for release day tickets.