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Here's The Advice Wesley Snipes Gave Mahershala Ali About Playing Blade

For more than half a decade, Wesley Snipes held the title of Blade before finally stepping away from the iconic role for good in 2004 following "Blade: Trinity." The character became one of Snipes' most recognizable performances. When people think of Blade, most will immediately picture Snipes, not the Marvel comic he was actually based on. But as fans know, there's a new Daywalker in town, and his name is Mahershala Ali.

The MCU's version of Blade aka Eric Brooks will be making his on-screen debut sometime in 2022 or 2023, with some reports pegging him for an appearance in Disney+'s upcoming "Moon Knight” series with Oscar Isaac. Marvel's "Blade" film is supposed to start shooting sometime next summer, with an expected release in 2023 (via The Hollywood Reporter). Ali has already made his vocal debut in the MCU, according to "Eternals" director Chloé Zhao, who snuck in some foreboding words from the Blade character in a shocking post-credits scene. So it's only a matter of time before we see him in all his vamp-killing glory. 

In order to prepare Ali for what's to come, Snipes has actually been speaking with the "Moonlight" Oscar winner and recently offered him advice on what to expect now that he's portraying the infamous vampire hunter. 

Snipes to Ali: Stay in shape, enjoy it while it lasts

Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment's Kevin Polowky in a recent interview, Wesley Snipes said he had two simple pieces of advice to give Mahershala Ali now that he's been passed down the Blade torch. 

"Make sure you're in shape, man. Make sure you're in shape," Snipes insisted. "Try not to get hurt. That's big. The demands of action movies, you've gotta be an elite athlete and be well-conditioned to survive it and to avoid injury. And enjoy it while it lasts. Enjoy it while it lasts."

Snipes' first portrayal of Blade came in the 1998 movie of the same name. He went on to star in Guillermo Del Toro's "Blade II" (2002) and then "Trinity" two years later. Snipes explained in his interview with Polowky that he had no ill will or bad blood towards Ali — and even made sure to tell him so — after reports said he was "caught off guard" by the initial casting announcement in 2019 (via Yahoo).  

"We've spoke. We shared that the issue of him being cast wasn't between us, that's business," Snipes said. "I'm cool with it. I don't walk around as Blade, so I'm not attached to the character like that. I feel no emotional loss. Zero. I'm happy that he's been recast and more than likely will do a great job."