Marvel’s ‘Blade’ Shuts Down Again, Timeline of Production Issues

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Blade logo with mahershala ali

Sometimes it takes quite a long time for production to start on any given television show or movie. However, others can’t seem to get things right and ultimately canceled altogether—for instance, Blade. Marvel has been steadily trying to get the film off the ground for quite some time, but it hasn’t happened. Now, it has been shut down once again.

Mahershala Ali with Kevin Feige when Blade was announced
Credit: Marvel

Related: ‘Blade’ Finally Back On Track With New Writer and Director

The MCU initially announced that star actor Mahershala Ali would be taking over in their reboot of the Blade franchise. However, he was announced to star as Eric Brooks/Blade at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019. Since then, there has been little to no movement on production finally getting started.

To be fair, the movie was announced in 2019, followed by the Covid-19 pandemic that shut down practically every production. Still, movies and television shows found a way around most things to continue getting out some content.

Though the pandemic is enough of an excuse for any production to come to a screeching halt, Blade has seen far more issues than just the pandemic stopping production.

Timeline of Production Issues

Blade Movie
Credit: New Line Cinema

There have been plenty of issues that have popped up in several reports since Blade was announced in 2019.

Dating back to June 2022, the movie had been delayed for an undisclosed reason, though many insiders believed it had to do with script issues that needed to be corrected.

Shortly after that, in September 2022, Blade star Mahershala Ali became increasingly frustrated with the lack of movement from Marvel attempting to get the film off the ground. At the time, industry insider Jeff Sneider revealed that Kevin Feige was “spread too thin,” but that angered Ali.

The worst news in September 2022 was that director Bassam Tariq had stepped down, leaving Marvel in a precarious position a week before filming was meant to begin. This led to another delay, as Marvel had to search for a new director.

In October 2022, it was revealed that Blade would keep its tentative release date of November 2023. However, reports came in that production on the film was being pushed back to January of 2023, meaning there was likely no way the film could finish in that amount of time.

Blade logo
Credit: Marvel Studios

Shortly after this news, in mid-October, Marvel started reshuffling its Phase 5 release slate, and Blade was among the films that would be delayed. Granted, it was likely a good move that the MCU was shuffling its release schedule.

Finally, in November of 2022, Yann Demange was revealed to be the new director of the long-delayed Marvel film. Demange previously worked on the hit HBO series Lovecraft Country.

In January 2023, it was announced that Blade would finally start production around the end of May, with a tentative date of May 30 given by industry insiders.

In March 2023, it was reported that Mahershala Ali demanded that script changes be made, as there were at least “two lackluster action scenes.”

Despite the issues, Mia Goth of the famous X horror film was brought on to star alongside Ali in April 2023. This led to speculation that the film was moving in a positive direction.

Finally, just last month, Nic Pizzolatto was announced as the new scriptwriter meant to fix the Blade script issues. Pizzolatto is the creator of the hit True Detective series.

Though things had been moving in a much better direction, Blade has officially been shut down again.

Should Marvel Cancel ‘Blade’?

The WGA strike is ongoing, and the film’s preproduction has been shut down due to the strike. The cast and crew were informed of this decision yesterday afternoon. Filming was reportedly meant to start next month. Pizzolatto reportedly did not have enough time to finish the script changes, and now the production is stopping indefinitely.

With so many production delays and issues, it stands to reason that Marvel could shelve the film indefinitely. With a release date of September 2024 and production on the film being shut down again, Blade might seem too far out of reach at this point.

Marvel did announce that production would resume once the writer’s strike ended. No one quite knows how long the strike can last. The last writer’s strike in 2007 lasted 100 days. There are assumptions that this one might conclude much faster, but time will tell.

Eric Brooks screaming as he rushes in with swords
Credit: Marvel Comics

Blade has been seemingly stuck in developmental hell for six years now, and it has reached a point where fans might no longer care anymore. We would hope that the MCU can deliver something worthwhile, but the news of these delays has made many people lose hope.

Do you think Blade will happen? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!



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