Mahershala Ali’s turn as “Blade” is one step closer to the big screen.
“Watchmen” writer Stacy Osei-Kuffour has been tapped to write the upcoming Marvel Studios film, Variety has confirmed. Marvel Studios announced that Ali, a two-time Oscar-winner, would portray the vampire hunter at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019.
Ali first stepped into the Marvel fold as a villain on the Netflix series “Luke Cage,” which is when the actor began pitching himself to star in a reboot of “Blade.” The franchise — which New Line Cinema first launched in 1998 starring Wesley Snipes as the titular sword-wielding half-vampire — is widely credited for presaging the current golden age of superhero cinema. The three films starring Snipes, all written by David S. Goyer, grossed roughly $418 million globally through 2004. Goyer later created a TV spin-off starring the rapper Sticky Fingaz that ran for one season in 2006 on the defunct basic cable network Spike.
Along with writing the seventh episode “Watchmen” — which focused on the childhood of Regina King’s Angela Abar in Vietnam — Osei-Kuffour has also worked as a story editor on Amazon’s “Hunters” and HBO’s “Run,” and earned an Emmy nomination for writing a Season 1 episode of Hulu’s “Pen15.”
Osei-Kuffour is the first Black woman to write a Marvel Studios feature film, with ever-increasing diversity behind the scenes as a hallmark of Marvel’s Phase Four, which already tapped Nia DaCosta as the first Black woman to direct a Marvel Studios film with “Captain Marvel 2.”
The new “Blade” reboot does not have a director attached yet, nor an announced release date.
Marvel had no comment.