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Mahershala Ali is thrilled to have the support of one of his idols!
The Green Book actor, 47, reacted on Tuesday to veteran actor Wesley Snipes' comments about his casting as Marvel character Blade. Snipes previously incarnated the role and recently said that he knows Ali will be "great" as the superhero vampire.
"Man, you know, [I'm] humbled and so encouraged by that," Ali said on Tuesday's episode of The Breakfast Club. "Because he didn't have to say that."
"So, for him to come out and say that [as] somebody I look up to so much, I sincerely appreciated that," he later added. "So, thank you, brother."
Later in the conversation, the Moonlight actor acknowledged another comment from Snipes where he said that Ali "has got a heck of a job on his hands" with the role.
"I'm learning. It's a lot of pressure, it's a lot," Ali said of the gargantuan task of taking on a lead superhero role in an MCU movie. "But other people have done it and survived and succeeded. So, I'm just going to try to set myself up to do the absolute best work I could do."
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As for whether Snipes, 59, will appear in the MCU Phase V movie, the two-time Oscar winner remained tight-lipped. "I can't talk about anything," Ali said. "I can't even talk. They put the hush down."
Snipes initially played Blade in the 1998 film of the same name, followed by two sequels in 2002 and 2004.
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In 2019, it was announced that Ali was cast in the upcoming reboot film for the character, to be part of the current and ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. That film is currently listed in pre-production, according to IMDb.
Veteran actor Snipes came to the defense of Ali last month on Twitter, when a user wrote that the two-time Oscar winner is going to "have a hard time outdoing" Snipes as Blade.
"He will do great," Snipes wrote simply in response, along with a prayer hands emoji.
Earlier this year, Snipes confirmed that he was not involved in the new film. In an interview with Uproxx in July, the White Men Can't Jump star said that he didn't "have any involvement [in the project], but I support the young artists and I support Marvel in their business decisions."
"It's a beautiful thing," he continued. "I think it's a heck of a job. He's got a heck of a job on his hands."
Marvel first announced Ali — a double Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner for Moonlight in 2016 and Green Book two years later — as the new Blade during the company's panel at Comic-Con in July 2019.