3. Mahershala Ali
Not to be biased here, but Mahershala Ali is another one of my favorite actors working today. And how could he not be, with a career dating all the way back to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and the Hunger Games and advancing to his award-winning work on Moonlight and Green Book.
He has both thrived in leading roles, becoming the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar, and shined as a supporting actor, grabbing Primetime Emmy Awards for his characters on True Detective and Ramy. Simply put, he is a powerhouse of an actor.
Even at his age, though, Ali still has much left to accomplish. His next task will be bringing an iconic character back to the big screen in Blade. It’s a character with so much depth that has shown in many different lights. Stacy Osei-Kuffour, just after working on another of pop culture’s most iconic stories, Watchmen, will be tasked with penning the latest iteration of it.
Regardless of where the story goes, Ali will bring a terrific level of nuance to it, something we have already seen with his work as Cottonmouth in Luke Cage. Blade deserves that as a character, a vampire hunter with his own agenda in mind who has expressed a willingness to work toward the greater good. That complexity could also exist within Luke Skywalker, whether facing the temptations of the Empire or turning away from the Jedi order after mistraining one of its own.
There’s been a common thread of Marvel actors on this list, and with Ali entering that cinematic universe and Kevin Feige soon doing the same to Star Wars, it seems like only a matter of time until the two franchises combine.