At San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Marvel Studios rocked the venue and the world by announcing that Mahershala Ali would join the MCU for a new reboot of Blade, the classic supernatural vampire-hunter. But more than three years after that announcement, Eric Brooks’ first MCU solo outing has had more than its fair share of troubles even getting off the ground thanks to a number of behind-the-scenes issues.
These first came to light when the studio lost director Bassam Tariq, with Mahershala Ali also expressing frustration with how production was progressing over the last few months. Part of that frustration is over the script for Blade, which reportedly had to be rewritten from scratch due to story issues that have arisen as Phase 5 gets set to kick off in 2023.
Now, unfortunately, that next slate of movies might not include Blade as soon as fans expected thanks to the latest round of news from the studio via one of the most reputable news sources in the business.
Marvel Studios Delays Blade Reboot
Update: Blade, along with three other major theatrical Marvel Studios releases, has been officially delayed. The Mahershala Ali-led film is now slated to premiere on September 6, 2024, ten months after its previous release slot.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Marvel Studios has temporarily shut down production on the upcoming Blade reboot coming to the MCU. This comes after parting ways with director Bassam Tariq a couple of weeks ago as the studio searches for his replacement.
Originally set to begin shooting in November, Blade's crew members have now been notified that production-related activities in Atlanta are now on hold.
According to The Direct's sources, while production prep is expected to resume by early next year, Marvel is now planning to start rolling cameras in May 2023.
With this update, Blade won't meet its November 3, 2023 release date. However, Marvel Studios isn't in a huge rush. According to one source from The Hollywood Reporter, the studio "want(s) to really get it right," even if that means delaying its release to 2024.
How Will Blade Delay Affect Phase 5 Slate?
This delay in production will force Marvel to make some tough decisions with regard to its release schedule, even with three movies still set to premiere in theaters in 2023. Next year will now feature Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and The Marvels, although it seems unlikely that anything else could be filmed in time to meet the now-open November slot.
This would also make for a more jam-packed year in 2024 than ever before, which just added Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool 3 as its fourth movie. Unless Marvel wants to bring a record five movies in one year, either that or Fantastic Four will most likely be delayed until early 2025, with the team potentially looking to push one or both of the next Avengers movies into 2026 as well.
But for the immediate future, the focus remains on getting the best name possible to direct Blade as Mahershala Ali brings this dark and exciting antihero into the MCU for the first time.
With production now looking to begin in May 2023, Marvel will spend the next half-year reworking Blade to make sure that MCU fans get the best version of this story possible, especially with the character being absent in blockbusters for the better part of two decades. It's clear that Ali is putting every bit of effort into making sure that this happens, and hopefully, Marvel will be able to find the right person for the director job before too long.