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Mahershala Ali will be the next ‘Blade’ as Marvel rolls

Marvel is rebooting the “Blade” series, and has cast Mahershala Ali to star. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige announced the news at Comic-Con on Saturday as the panel’s big ending surprise. Ali also took the stage at the announcement to massive applause, donning the Blade baseball cap.

Wesley Snipes previously played the half-vampire superhero in 1998’s “Blade” and its two sequels, “Blade II” and “Blade: Trinity.” Coincidentally, Feige was a co-producer on “Trinity.” The series focuses on the titular vigilante, a human who possesses vampire strengths and protect humans from vampires.

Ali has been on a hot streak as of late. He won his first Oscar, for best supporting actor, in 2016 for “Moonlight,” and won the same prize this year for his portrayal of Don Shirley in “Green Book.” He most recently starred in the third season of HBO’s drama series “True Detective” and appeared in “Alita: Battle Angel.”

It’s not Ali’s first foray in the superhero world. Last year, he voiced the Prowler in the animated hit “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and also played the villain Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes in the first season of the Netflix/Marvel series “Luke Cage.”

Blade” was only one of several big announcements made at Comic-Con. Among other big news: the full cast of “The Eternals” was revealed, “Shang-Chi” found its lead in Simu Liu and Natalie Portman is rejoining the Thor franchise.

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