Last month, Marvel’s long-in-the-works Blade reboot hit a speed bump when Bassam Tariq vacated his role as the film’s director. Production on the movie was scheduled to begin in Atlanta in November, so his departure was ill-timed, to say the least. But rather than scrambling to hire a replacement, it looks like the studio intends to take its time with finding a suitable candidate to take over the project. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Blade is officially on hold, meaning its late 2023 release is highly unlikely.
Prep work was already underway in Atlanta by the time the studio made its decision to put the film on pause. But after crew members were notified earlier today, all production-related activities began to shut down. Some believed that Marvel would fill the director’s chair quickly and avoid any significant filming delays. Unfortunately, they seem to have realized that this might cause the reboot’s quality to suffer in the long run. One source even remarked, “They want to really get it right.”
Marvel announced that Mahershala Ali would headline a new Blade movie during its star-studded Comic-Con presentation in 2019. Two years later, Tariq entered negotiations to direct the film. Tariq’s official statement blamed a scheduling conflict for his exit. But over the last two weeks, rumors have indicted that there have also been problems with the script, which is reportedly just 90 pages long and only features two “lackluster” action scenes. Additionally, Ali was said to be “very frustrated” with the process.
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The studio originally hired Stacy Osei-Kuffour (HBO’s Watchmen) to write Blade’s screenplay. However, THR now claims that her draft has undergone “several rewrites” since she signed on in 2021. The most recent version is credited to Beau DeMayo, who has previously worked on Netflix’s The Witcher and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. DeMayo also has a pre-existing relationship with Marvel. Aside from penning an episode of Moon Knight earlier this year, he currently serves as the head writer for the studio’s upcoming X-Men ’97 animated series.
Ali made his first onscreen “appearance” as Blade via a brief vocal cameo in last year’s Eternals. And during this summer’s Comic-Con panel, Kevin Feige confirmed that the Daywalker’s next movie would hit theaters on November 3, 2023. Marvel has yet to announce a new date in light of this latest news. Regardless, Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre remain attached to play supporting roles opposite Ali’s title character. Tariq is sticking around as an executive producer on the film as well.
Do you think Marvel is making the right choice by putting the film on hold? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Blade by Marc Guggenheim: The Complete Collection
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