Delroy Lindo is joining the cast of Marvel Studios’ “Blade,” starring Mahershala Ali as the titular human-vampire hybrid. Lindo, who most recently appeared in the Netflix Western “The Harder They Fall,” is the first actor to join the cast since Ali broke the news of the “Blade” reboot at the end of Marvel Studios’ 2019 panel at San Diego Comic-Con.
It’s unclear who Lindo will be playing, but one strong possibility is Jamal Afari, who in the Marvel comics is the man who raised and mentored Blade — a.k.a. Eric Brooks — in the ways of vampire hunting when Eric was young. In the comics, Jamal is Black, but in the 1998 feature adaptation of “Blade” starring Wesley Snipes, the character was renamed Abraham Whistler and cast with white actor Kris Kristofferson. Marvel has not yet announced a release date for “Blade,” but observers expect the film to debut in the fall of 2023.
Lindo is coming off another critically-acclaimed collaboration with Spike Lee in Netflix’s “Da 5 Bloods.” In the streamer’s Western epic “The Harder They Fall,” he plays Bass Reeves, the real-life lawman who was an inspiration for the Lone Ranger. The actor will next appear in Neil Gaiman’s “Anansi Boys” series at Amazon, and he’s set to make his directorial debut with the film “Jabari’s People.”
Ali recently made his audio-only debut as Blade in a post-credits scene in Marvel Studios’ “Eternals,” in which Blade (off screen) counsels Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman not to pick up a cursed sword known as the Ebony Blade. While the scene would suggest Harington will appear in Ali’s “Blade” movie, the former “Game of Thrones” star told Variety in October that he doesn’t know if that will happen.
“I have no idea,” Harington said. “I’m assuming that that would be the case. But who knows?”
A representative for Marvel could not be reached for comment.
Lindo is repped by APA.
The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news of Lindo’s casting.