Updated on 10/11/2022 at 3:09 p.m. ET
Disney has now announced that it is shifting the release dates of several Marvel Studios films, including Blade.
According to Variety, the movie, which stars Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali, is now scheduled to hit theaters Sept. 6, 2024, nearly a year later than its previous release date.
Updated on 10/11/2022 at 1:41 p.m. ET
In the aftermath of former director Bassam Tariq’s exit from the project, Marvel Studios is postponing production on Blade.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film, which features vampire hunter Eric Brooks/Blade, was scheduled to begin shooting in Atlanta in November but is now “temporarily shutting down production-related activities.” The crew was reportedly informed about the decision on Tuesday.
The studio will now take its time to find the right person to helm the project and use the extra months to work on the script. THR notes that its sources are reporting that “they want to really get it right.”
Marvel wants to resume production on Blade in early 2023. The movie is currently planned for release on Nov. 3, 2023. As of now, the studio has not changed that date, but it seems likely that it will be pushed back.
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It appears there is something that can slow down vampire-hunting hero Blade, and it’s the loss of a director.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, just two months before Blade, the Marvel Studios film starring Mahershala Ali, is set to begin production, director Bassam Tariq is leaving the project.
“Due to continued shifts in our production schedule, Bassam is no longer moving forward as director of Blade but will remain an executive producer on the film,” Marvel said in a statement. “We appreciate Bassam’s talent and all the work he’s done getting Blade to where it is.”
In a separate statement, Tariq thanked Marvel and showed his support for the movie, as well as its cast and crew.
“It’s been an honor working with the wonderful folks at Marvel,” Tariq said in a statement. “We were able to put together a killer cast and crew. Eager to see where the next director takes the film.”
Set for release Nov. 3, 2023, Blade was supposed to start filming in Atlanta in November. At this moment it’s unclear if the film will once again be delayed. Marvel is reportedly looking for a new director, and if we have any say so in the matter, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige should be on the phone with Gina Prince-Bythewood right now.
We all know Marvel is more secretive than the CIA, but things have been unusually quiet when it comes to Blade. Since Oscar-winner Ali was announced as the star at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, there has been very little movement on the movie. Obviously, the pandemic had something to do with that, but it also feels like there’s more going on behind the scenes with this project.
Entertainment journalist Jeff Sneider tweeted, “I’m told that the current BLADE script is roughly 90 pages and features exactly TWO (lackluster) action sequences. Mahershala is 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.”
Yes, these are rumors floating around the internet, but when combined with the lack of production leaks and the exit of the film’s director, it all seems a little too convenient.
Ali’s Blade made his MCU debut in a post-credits scene to Eternals. As Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman was struggling to open a case containing the dangerous Ebony Blade, the Moonlight star could be heard off-screen asking, “Sure you’re ready for that Mr. Whitman?” It’s not much to go on, but it does hint that Blade will be interacting with the supernatural side of the Marvel universe. In the MCU, that currently includes Doctor Strange, Wong, whatever is going on with Charlize Theron’s Cleo, the aforementioned Dane Whitman, maybe the Eternals and possibly a variant of Wanda/Scarlet Witch.
As of right now, Blade is still scheduled for release on Nov. 3, 2023, but of course, we’ll let you know if that changes.