Mahershala Ali Leaves Blade Fans Hanging, Joins New Jurassic World Movie

One fandom's loss is another's gain, apparently. While Marvel Studios has been undergoing something of an identity crisis in recent years, capped by Disney's Bob Iger actually promising to slow down production of movies and shows during a shareholder call while Marvel's Brad Winderbaum recently copped to the shortcomings of the #ItsAllConnected approach, one of the bigger casualties has been the shaky status of the announced "Blade" movie. Starring the great Mahershala Ali as the eponymous vampire hunter, the film has undergone quite a bit of behind-the-scenes chaos, from directorial changes to significant amounts of creative overhaul — to the extent, in fact, that the star reportedly came this close to parting ways with the studio altogether. Well, Marvel fans can consider this latest development as yet another troublesome sign. Dinosaur fans, meanwhile, have our permission to rejoice.

The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop that Ali is presently in talks to join the next "Jurassic" movie, which is rapidly shaping up to be exactly what we all needed to wash the bad taste of 2022's "Jurassic World: Dominion" out of our collective mouths. The actor will join the previously-announced Scarlett Johansson, alongside other co-stars including Jonathan Bailey, Rupert Friend, and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo. With "Rogue One" and "The Creator" director Gareth Edwards on board to guide the fast-tracked shoot to the finish line, it's basically all systems go at this point. There's no word on exact plot details, nor what kind of role Ali is expected to play in the film. With original "Jurassic Park" screenwriter David Koepp in charge of the screenplay, however, one can only hope that the final results will be worthy of Ali's star power.

In other words, expect there to be more dinosaurs than giant locusts this time around.

Dinosaurs beat vampires

Unfortunately for superhero fans, Mahershala Ali can't be expected to put his career on hold indefinitely while Marvel struggles to figure out exactly where it stands on "Blade." There's no official word that his casting in the next "Jurassic" movie (which has previously been described as a "reboot," but will likely serve as a mere follow-up to the recent trilogy and focus on a new cast of characters) will affect production on Marvel's highly-anticipated vampire picture, but common sense dictates that Ali can't be in two places at the same time. THR reports that filming is set to commence on the dino-stomping blockbuster in London sometime in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, our last update on "Blade" came back in November of 2023, when current director Yann Demange promised an R rating. "Blade" has since been delayed to a November 7, 2025 release, though that could easily change should Marvel decide on another shift to its calendar.

As for Ali, the "True Detective" and "Moonlight" star has been exceptionally busy as of late. After appearing as a voice cameo at the tail end of "Eternals" as Eric Brooks/Blade, he's since had voice roles in superhero shows "Invincible" and "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse," with commitments to "Beyond the Spider-Verse," the Travis Knight-directed animated film "Wildwood," and now this "Jurassic" movie ahead. In an ideal world, we'd get gory vampire action and dino-sized mayhem with one of the biggest and most talented names in the business without any further delay. It remains to be seen when — or even if — Marvel can get its act together and get things back on track with "Blade."

This upcoming "Jurassic" movie is scheduled to land in theaters July 2, 2025.