Marvel Studios’ reboot of the “Blade” franchise has just added actor Aaron Pierre to the cast in an unspecified role.
He joins the already confirmed Mahershala Ali as the titular half-human half-vampire hybrid, and Delroy Lindo in another unspecified role (though it’s likely as Blade’s vampire hunting mentor Whistler).
Bassam Tariq is set to direct, with Stacy Osei-Kuffour penning the script, and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige producing.
Ali was announced as starring in Blade in the closing seconds of Marvel’s supersized San Diego Comic-Con panel in 2019, and made a brief unseen-but-heard cameo in one of the end credit scenes of 2021’s “Eternals” where he warns Dane Whitman (Kit Harrington) about touching the Ebony Blade for the first time.
Pierre has previously starred in SyFy’s “Krypton” series, Amazon’s “Underground Railroad,” and in M. Night Shyamalan’s “Old.”
In addition to “Blade,” he’ll also be the voice of Mufasa in Barry Jenkins’ upcoming “The Lion King” prequel, which will use the same photorealistic animation technology as 2019’s “The Lion King.”
The character of Blade first debuted in the pages of Marvel Comics in 1973’s “Tomb of Dracula” No. 10. He is a hybrid due to his mother being bitten and killed by a vampire during childbirth.
“Blade” has already been featured in a trilogy of self-titled movies starring Wesley Snipes: 1998’s “Blade,” 2002’s “Blade II,” and 2004’s “Blade: Trinity.”
The upcoming “Blade” film is reportedly targeting a summer 2022 start for production, with a release sometime late 2023 or early 2024.