Perhaps the biggest news to come out of Comic-Con in years is the long-awaited reboot of Blade. The character was adapted from a Marvel comic book and played by Wesley Snipes in a film directed by Stephen Norrington.

Although many cite Iron Man as the first film to kick off the success of Marvel’s film adaptations, many argue that it was actually 1998’s Blade that really kicked things off with a rated-R script written by David S. Goyer, and worthy co-stars in Stephen Dorff, and Kris Kristofferson. That film made $131 million, making it a bonafide hit, standing above the many duds Marvel had fielded in Hollywood previously.

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If you’re unfamiliar with the story, it’s about a man who is half-human and half-vampire who hunts down the vampires around the world preying on humankind.

Mahershala Ali in Netflix’s Luke Cage

Of course, many were hoping that any reboot would star Snipes, but Marvel has decided to give the role to Mahershala Ali (True Detective, House of Cards, Moonlight). To date, Ali’s only real dive into the Marvel universe came as a villain in the Netflix version of Marvel’s Luke Cage.

Mahershala Ali in HBO’s True Detective

What’s somewhat perplexing about the casting is that instead of going younger, they went with Ali who is 45 versus Snipes who is a still young-ish looking 56. Snipes recently revisited his Blade character in a cameo on the vampire comedy TV series What We Do in the Shadows.

Wesley Snipes’ version of Blade recently popped up on this show.

Nevertheless, considering the fact that some rather unworthy names have been floated in recent years as a replacement for Snipes, choosing Ali seems like an inspired choice. When looking at Ali’s past body of work, which tends to veer toward the crime drama and emotionally heavy side of the Hollywood spectrum, it seems Marvel may do right by fans and keep the new Blade edgy and possibly even R-rated.

And while many fans will be unhappy that Snipes isn’t in the starring role, they can still hold out hope that Marvel will allow Snipes to at least make an appearance in the film, to honor his pioneering comic movie work in the now iconic role. The news was broken online by Deadline late Saturday.

Cover image via New Line Cinema