Marvel Studios has put a hold on the production of Blade after Bassam Tariq stepped down as director two weeks ago.
According to a Tuesday (Oct. 11) report, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Marvel is temporarily halting production activities in Atlanta, where the project would have been shot starting in November. However, the publication reports studio officials hope to resume production in early 2023 after finding a filmmaker and developing the project further.
According to the publication, the studio presumed that a new director would quickly step in after Tariq left the project so the production would not be delayed. However, during the two weeks that followed, Marvel decided to take a step back and focus on finding a replacement.
Since Marvel announced the film during a panel at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, Blade has been one of the studio’s most anticipated films. During the conversation, Mahershala Ali surprised everyone by announcing he would be playing the lead role.
Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, revealed to THR that Ali personally contacted him about the role. “When Mahershala calls, you answer,” Feige said.
Industry insider Jeff Sneider said in a tweet in September that the script was only 90 pages long with two “lackluster” fight scenes. “I’m told that the current Blade script is roughly 90 pages and features exactly TWO (lackluster) action sequences,” he tweeted. “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.”
After the news of the movie’s production being on halt, Sneider alleged that an “industry notable” believed that Ali should drop out of the film. “Glad Marvel’s taking the time to get the script right,” he wrote. “Since that sounds like it was the problem. With production pushing, I wonder if it could pose a problem for Mahershala’s schedule. One industry notable thinks Ali should drop out…and try to be Magneto in the new ‘X-MEN’ pic.”
You can read Sneider’s tweets about the Blade movie down below: