Marvel Studios’ Approach to ‘Blade’ Sparks Challenges in Pre-Production

by Barbara

Marvel Studios has a tried-and-true formula for developing its feature films: hire a writer, pitch the concept to directors, and then approach potential talent. This process has worked well for hits like “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Captain Marvel,” and the upcoming “Fantastic Four.” However, the “Blade” reboot appears to be breaking away from this standard procedure, presenting a new set of challenges for the studio.

Initially announced at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, “Blade” was a significant addition to Marvel’s already impressive slate. The studio secured Mahershala Ali to star in the film even before a script was in place. Despite this promising start, the project has seen a tumultuous pre-production phase, involving multiple writers and directors, and another round of script rewrites. With no director currently attached, Marvel Studios is back to the drawing board with “Blade.”


Turbulent Times for ‘Blade’


Since its announcement, the “Blade” reboot has faced numerous obstacles. The COVID-19 pandemic forced significant rescheduling for Marvel, delaying many projects. Even after Hollywood reopened, the film encountered further setbacks due to industry strikes. Production was initially slated to begin in November 2022 after securing director Bassam Tariq. However, the project was abruptly halted, leading to Tariq’s departure.


Yann Demange later stepped in as director, expressing enthusiasm for the film and aiming for an R-rating. Unfortunately, Demange also exited the project recently, with his departure described as amicable. Concurrently, Marvel has brought in another writer, Eric Pearson, known for his work on “Black Widow,” to revise the script. Pearson is the fifth writer to tackle “Blade,” following Stacy Osei-Kuffour, Nic Pizzolatto, Michael Green, and Michael Starrbury.

Originally rumored to be a period piece not centered on Ali’s Blade, the film has undergone substantial rewrites, leaving its plot uncertain. The project will not progress until both Ali and Marvel Studios’ president Kevin Feige are satisfied with the script, raising questions about why Marvel is pushing forward without a finalized screenplay.

A Deliberate Pace for Quality

Mahershala Ali’s proactive interest in a “Blade” reboot was the catalyst for Marvel Studios greenlighting the project. Given this, the studio’s efforts to ensure Ali is pleased with the story are understandable. His involvement suggests a deep investment in the character, which has driven the project’s development. Despite recent setbacks, including Demange’s departure, Ali has hinted that they are nearing a satisfactory screenplay, indicating his continued commitment.

With no director currently attached, Marvel Studios must prioritize perfecting the story before seeking a new director. After two years of uncertainty and mixed reviews for other projects, both Feige and Disney’s Bob Iger have emphasized the need to prioritize quality over quantity.

A “Blade” reboot holds significant promise, but it also carries high expectations. The original “Blade” film, starring Wesley Snipes, is considered a classic comic book adaptation, praised for its strong performance and well-crafted script. Rushing a reboot could jeopardize its success. Marvel Studios must take its time to develop a solid script to avoid further delays or losing another director due to creative differences.

“Blade” is currently slated for release on November 7, 2025. However, given the ongoing script revisions and the absence of a director, this date may change. Ensuring the project meets the high standards expected by fans and the studio is paramount, even if it means further delays.

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