Back in 2019, Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, True Detective) was announced as the next Blade in the upcoming Marvel Studios reboot. Indeed, one of our finest living actors was going to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the vampire hunter, bringing his perspective to the role first made famous by Wesley Snipes in the late ‘90s. In the four years and change since that original announcement, we still have no movie - and not a shred of footage has been shot. A new report has detailed some of the goings on behind the scenes that have caused the delay. In short? It has been a mess. It’s also going to be a lot cheaper than the average superhero blockbuster.
According to Variety, the Blade reboot has gone through at least five writers and two different directors during the long development process. Yann Demange (Lovecraft Country) is currently slated to occupy the director’s chair, with Bassam Tariq (Mogul Mowgli) originally tapped to helm the film. As far as writers go, it was revealed in April that Nic Pizzolatto (True Detective) had been hired to rewrite the script. This latest report explains that writer Michael Green (Logan) has come aboard, and it sounds like he started over from scratch. Marvel Studios and Disney are apparently seeking to make the film for less than $100 million. That is a far cry from most Marvel films, which are made for closer to $200 million - if not much more.
In fairness, it’s not as though these movies have to cost that much. And, frankly, a vampire movie probably doesn’t need to cost more than $100 million. It’s also fair for Marvel to try and mitigate things at this point. To that end, it was also revealed that production, at one point, was shut down a mere six weeks before it was originally scheduled to begin. The report surprisingly reveals that “the story at one point morphed into a narrative led by women and filled with life lessons. In this version, it’s said that “Blade was relegated to the fourth lead.”
All of this does not paint a particularly confident picture of a film with a creative direction. Case in point, it’s said that Ali was getting ready to bail on the project due to script issues. As it stands, the actor is still aboard. It was reported earlier this year that he’ll be joined by Mia Goth (Pearl, X). Whether or not the ongoing changes in the script impact the supporting cast remains to be seen.
Blade is currently set to hit theaters on February 14, 2025.