Stacy Osei-Kuffour will sprinkle some Black Girl Magic on the all-new ‘Blade’ played by Mahershala Ali as she becomes the first Black female to write a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. Osei-Kuffuor was chosen among a list of other potential Black writers as a hallmark of Marvel’s Phase Four to increase diversity behind the scenes.
Ali, 46, is replacing Wesley Snipes, 58, who had played the sword-wielding half-man, half-vampire hunter in the three franchises; the first in 1998 by New Line Cinema, then in the 2002 sequel and in 2004.
Snipes gave his blessing to the two-time Oscar winner, who was involved in the screening of the writers together with the studio bosses.
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“To all the DAYWALKERS losing their minds right now, chillaaxx. Although the news comes as a surprise, it’s ALL GOOD. Such is the ‘business’ of ‘entertainment!’ Much peace to the MCU crew – always a fan. Honor and respect to the grandmaster Stan,” Snipes said.
“Congratulations and Salaam to Mahershala Ali, a beautiful and talented artist whose expressions I look forward to experiencing for many years to come,” he added.
The three films starring Snipes, which were all written by David S. Goyer, grossed about $418 million globally through 2004, according to Variety.
Although no director has been attached to the Blade reboot yet, Ali expressed interest in the role and the Marvel Studio chief Kevin Feige who nursed the reboot of Blade jumped at it when they believed it was time.
“Now with Doctor Strange and the supernatural elements coming into the MCU, it felt like we could definitely start exploring that.
“Mahershala wanted to come in and meet with us, and when Mahershala Ali wants to meet, you take the meeting.”
Osei-Kuffuor, the Watchmen writer, earned a nomination for her script in a Season 1 episode of Hulu’s “Pen15”. She has also worked as a story editor on Amazon’s “Hunters” and HBO’s “Run”. She is now among the Black women making history in MCU. Nia DaCosta was recently selected by Marvel as the first Black woman to direct a Marvel Studios film with “Captain Marvel 2.”
DaCosta has had little stints in the industry but it was the 2019 indie movie “Little Woods,” starring Tessa Thompson, that served as the springboard which fully launched DaCosta’s career. It opened the door for her to direct the new “Candyman” movie produced and co-written by Jordan Peele.
Marvel Studios is known to work with different directors for their movie sequels to bring different perspectives to their movies.