Just two weeks after parting ways with director Bassam Tariq, Marvel Studios has temporarily paused the production on Mahershala Ali’s Blade in Atlanta, Georgia.
Most comic book fans may know that the half-human half-vampire character was first created in 1973 and rose to great heights in pop culture due to Wesley Snipes’ portrayal in the Blade films. After gaining massive popularity in the late 90s and early 2000s,the Blade films have been a staple in pop culture and unofficially kickstarted multiple vampire films, shows, and what is now known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since then, very little was heard of the character until in 2019, where Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige announced the reboot as part of the stories for phase four alongside The Eternals, Spider-Man: No Way Home, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Dr Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, Loki, WandaVision and so on.
Now, almost all of the films and shows announced in the same phase four category have been released with Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever set to premiere next month, thereby rounding off the cycle. Yet, Blade has not been able to make headway in direction and as of now, it is shut down “temporarily” and forced to forfeit its release date of November 3rd, 2023.
Lead actor Mahershala Ali has reportedly expressed his frustration with the arduous process, seeing that the film has undergone multiple rewrites and is now missing a director. However, Marvel is hopeful that production will resume in January 2023 ahead of a September 6th, 2024 release date.