Three years after Marvel Studios announced Blade at 2019's San Diego Comic-Con, cameras were finally ready to roll on the Mahershala Ali-led film.
But that all kept to a swift and sudden stop when Blade director Bassam Tariq stepped down from the MCU project a mere week prior to filming.
While Tariq's departure gave rise to a number of questions concerning the production, one of the biggest was whether the MCU film would keep its November 3, 2023 release.
While nothing has been officially confirmed by Marvel just yet, new reports suggest that fans of this long-awaited project will have to wait a little longer.
Marvel Studios Reportedly Delayed Blade Start Date
In response to insider Jeff Sneider's report that Blade's start date has been pushed to November, My Cosmic Circus' Lizzie Hill posted that she's heard January 2023 is the new target:
"Heard January as I mentioned yesterday"
@bigscreenleaks posted a similar report, saying Blade's start date has been "pushed back to at least the start of 2023:"
"I'm hearing that BLADE's start date was pushed back to at least the start of 2023. They're searching for a director and hope to get the project off the ground again soon."
As further evidence, Reddit user u/JediButterfly shared a Blade casting call stating applications are no longer being accepted as production dates have been pushed to the Spring of 2023.
The Fate of Blade's 2023 Release
It's worth noting that the loss of Blade's director is far from its only issue.
Other rumors and reports have claimed that Blade's Mahershala Ali is "frustrated" and that the film script was problematic with minimal action sequences.
While Marvel has already assigned Moon Knight and X-Men '97's Beau DeMayo to doctor the script, that process - as well as finding a replacement director - could take some time.
Therefore, it's not at all surprising that Blade's production date has been pushed.
The question now is whether it will keep to this new, yet unofficial, early 2023 start state and how the change will affect Marvel Studios' current release schedule.
Before the shake-up, Blade was set to follow The Marvels which is set to debut in July and precede May 2024's Captain America: New World Order.
At the moment, delaying The Marvels to Blade's November 3 release is a likely possibility, given how Marvel Studios will want a late 2023 release.
Fans are likely to hear about Blade's official delay in the coming days, as well as Marvel Studios' revised release schedule.
Blade is currently set to release on November 3, 2023.