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Aaron Pierre Joins Marvel Studios’ ’Blade’

Krypton and Old star Aaron Pierre is the latest to join Marvel Studios’ new Blade film opposite Mahershala Ali, Deadline has learned.

Ali takes over the role from Wesley Snipes, who played the character in three films from 1998 to 2008’s Blade Trinity. The three films grossed a combined total of $416 million at the worldwide box office. Sticky Fingaz also played the character in the short-lived Blade: The Series

Pierre’s role is being kept under wraps, much like Delroy Lindo, who joined the project back in November. Per the trade, the role itself was one of the more highly coveted parts in Hollywood since Tariq was tapped as director last fall. The studio met with dozens of rising stars but Aaron Pierre eventually won of the studio in the recent weeks.

Read: Fred Hechinger to Play Chameleon in Marvel/Sony’s ‘Kraven The Hunter’

Bassam Tariq, known for directing the rap drama Mogul Mowgli, is set to direct with Watchmen and Pen15 writer Stacy Osei-Kuffour is currently at work writing the project. Osei-Kuffour became the first black writer to tackle a Marvel Studios project as a writer. Last year, Nia DaCosta (Candyman) became the studio’s first black female director after she signed on to Captain Marvel 2, which is set to star Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, and Zawe Ashton. Marvel is currently searching for a black director to work with Osei-Kuffour.

As of now, both Blade has no official release date.

Pierre has been on the rise as of late starring in the short-lived Superman spin-off Krypton,  M. Night Shyamalan’s Old and Jenkins Amazon event series Underground Railroad. He will next be seen, well, heard in Disney’s upcoming The Lion King prequel as the voice of a younger Mufasa. Production on The Lion King is currently underway with Barry Jenkins directing.

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