Here's why Blade cost Mahershala Ali the chance to play Commissioner Gordon in DC's The Batman
Two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali was reportedly the top choice to play the role of Commissioner Jim Gordon in the upcoming film The Batman, which casts Robert Pattinson in the role of the caped crusader.
Reports suggest that Ali had even met The Batman director Matte Reeves to discuss the DC project, but Ali's casting as Marvel's vampire-hunter Blade in the cinematic reboot of Marvel's Blade series, made it impossible for him to be a part of DC universe's The Batman.
Ali's casting as the iconic half-vampire daywalker Blade was announced this summer at the San Diego Comic Con, and was one of the biggest shockers for Marvel fans. But then again, Ali had already made a mark in the Marvel universe with his roles in the Netflix show Luke cage (where he played the antagonist Cornell 'Cottonmouth' Stokes) and the 2018 Marvel flick Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (where he voiced the character of the superhero Prowler).
The role of Commissioner Gordon, though a crucial part of Batman's narrative, is ultimately a supporting one; with Ali gaining relevance as a leading man in Hollywood and set to lead his own superhero franchise, it is unlikely that he would ever consider leaving the Marvel franchise to pursue it.
Commissioner Gordon is the police commissioner of the fictional city of Gotham, and is one of Batman's trustiest allies, as they both share the commitment to purge Gotham of crime. In DC comics history, Commissioner Gordon is the adoptive father of Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl. In the past, names like Pat Hingle, Gary Oldman and JK Simmons have depicted the role on screen.
It is important to note that The Batman, which is set to release in 2021 takes a considerable detour from Ben Affleck's Justice League series. It is not a part of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) but is in fact, a standalone venture, much like Joaquin Pheonix's Joker.