Before the pandemic, Marvel Studios made waves at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 with the announcement that the MCU would bring a reboot of Blade, with Mahershala Ali taking on the starring role of Eric Brooks. This would be the first Blade movie since Wesley Snipes' trilogy ended in 2004, bringing the titular vampire hunter into the same universe as the Avengers for the first time.
But since that time, Marvel has been slow to make much progress on Blade, which only just got its release date set for November 2023 at this year's SDCC. And to make things worse, the studio is now in search of a new director after a shocking announcement hit the new streams.
Former director Bassam Tariq reportedly left his position only a few weeks before Blade was meant to begin shooting, leaving the MCU in a tough hole until a new leading crew member steps up to the plate. And according to a recent report, that has left Ali less than enthused as he works hard to play the biggest Marvel role of his career.
Blade Star Frustrated with Progress on MCU Movie
According to The Ankler's Jeff Sneider, Blade star Mahershala Ali is frustrated with the lack of progress being made on his solo MCU movie.
Along with news hinting that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is being spread too thin, the same tweet indicated that Ali isn't happy with the status of production on Blade, which is slated to release on November 3, 2023.
"I’m told that the current BLADE script is roughly 90 pages and features exactly TWO (lackluster) action sequences. Mahershala said to be very frustrated with the process. Feige said to be spread too thin. But hey, that’s just what sources are telling me. Don’t shoot the messenger"
The Hollywood Reporter also shared some additional insight into the troubles plaguing the MCU's first fully supernatural outing.
The start of production has shifted at least once and has undergone several rewrites, with X-Men '97 and Moon Knight's Beau DeMayo currently helping to write the script. Additionally, the studio is already looking for a new director following Bassam Tariq's exit.
How Will Marvel Pull Blade Together?
Even though it was pushed into Phase 5, there is still a great deal of excitement to see the vampire hunter Blade finally enter a world where he's not the only superpowered hero. And with teases already being laid out for the presence of vampires within the MCU, hearing about Ali's frustration with production is a disappointing piece of news to swallow.
Ali has often shown how passionate he is about bringing Blade into the story the right way, teasing the scary side of what this powerful character will add to the expanding MCU narrative. He's even gotten to give fans their first taste of his portrayal thanks to a line of dialogue in Eternals' second post-credits scene, which only ramps up the anticipation even further for his on-screen debut.
But his reported frustration is unquestionably a disappointing update from the Marvel Studios set, with Blade still set to end the MCU's first year in Phase 5's theatrical run.
Hopefully, Kevin Feige will be able to collaborate effectively with Ali as the team looks to find its new director, especially with the story currently being developed ahead of filming. As Marvel has proven time and time again, the studio should find a way to bring all parties together and give fans the Blade movie that they so desperately want to see.
Blade will premiere in theaters on November 3, 2023.