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Chill about Mahershala Ali as Blade, Wesley Snipes tells Marvel fans

The actor who played the vampire hunter in three movies says "it's all good."

Wesley Snipes, who famously played Blade the vampire hunter in three films, congratulated Mahershala Ali on his casting in a new Blade film. 
New Line Cinema

Blade star Wesley Snipes wants fans to "chillaaxx" about the surprise San Diego Comic-Con news that Mahershala Ali will star in a new version of the story instead of Snipes himself returning to the role.

In a statement obtained by CNET sister site, Snipes welcomed Ali to the part and urged fans to accept the new take on the film.

"To all the DAYWALKERS losing their minds right now, chillaaxx," Snipes said. "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." 

He went on to praise Ali, the Academy Award-winning star of Moonlight and Green Book, calling him "a beautiful and talented artist whose expressions I look forward to experiencing for many years to come."

Now playing: Watch this: Marvel's Phase 4 plan explained

The news was announced at Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, with few details other than Ali's casting. Snipes played the role of the superhero vampire hunter in three films released between 1998 and 2004, and had expressed interest in returning

Fans might be a bit soothed by rumors that Snipes will land a cameo or other role in the new film.

"Let's start the movement right here, right now, for MarvelStudios to cast wesleysnipes as Whistler in the reboot of #BladeMCU," wrote one Twitter user. (Abraham Whistler is Blade's mentor.)

There's no date yet for the new Blade, though according to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, it will come out in Phase 5, not Phase 4, of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Phase 4 covers movies coming out in 2020 and 2021, so it'll be a bit of a wait for Blade.