Blade: Marvel’s Troubled Path to Revival

by Barbara

Marvel’s “Blade,” starring Mahershala Ali as the iconic Daywalker, is set to be a groundbreaking addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Scheduled for release on November 7, 2025, this Phase 6 film marks the character’s first big-screen appearance since Wesley Snipes’ trilogy. “Blade” aims to introduce the supernatural elements of the MCU, featuring vampires and other dark creatures. However, despite the initial excitement, the film has encountered numerous production hurdles, leaving its future uncertain.

Director Departures and Development Hell

In June 2024, “Blade” lost its director, Yann Demange, marking the second director to exit since the project’s announcement in 2019. With continuous delays and setbacks, the initial enthusiasm has waned, turning into skepticism about the film’s release. Fans are left questioning whether “Blade” will ever make it to theaters.


A Promising Start Turned Sour

“Blade” was announced as part of the MCU’s Phase 5 at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, with Mahershala Ali receiving an enthusiastic welcome. Progress was initially hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. By 2021, the film had found a director in Bassam Tariq and a screenwriter in Stacy Osei-Kuffour, with a release date set for November 3, 2023. However, Blade’s journey into the MCU officially began with a voice cameo in the post-credit scene of 2021’s “Eternals,” teasing future team-ups.


A Shift in Direction

Despite early progress, 2022 saw significant changes. Tariq left the project, and the script underwent major rewrites, reportedly due to dissatisfaction from Mahershala Ali. Rumors circulated that the initial script lacked action and focused too much on a supporting character. These changes marked the beginning of Blade’s notoriety within the Marvel fandom.


Delays and Rewrites

Yann Demange replaced Tariq as director in November 2022, and Michael Starrbury was brought in as the new screenwriter. The release date was pushed to September 6, 2024. Despite some positive developments, including Mia Goth joining the cast, the project faced further delays. Another writer, Nic Pizzolatto, was added just before the writers’ strike in 2023, pushing the release to February 14, 2025. By the time the original release date arrived in November 2023, production had not yet begun. Michael Green, known for “Logan,” was hired to rewrite the script, now confirmed to be R-rated. The release date was moved again to November 7, 2025.

Continued Challenges in 2024

Blade’s production troubles became a public spectacle. Rumors suggested that Marvel risked losing Mahershala Ali if the project didn’t progress soon. Comments from original trilogy stars like Stephen Dorff, who criticized the reboot, fueled fan skepticism. Demange’s departure in June 2024 led to more uncertainty, with Eric Pearson joining as the new writer. Demange has yet to be replaced, further complicating the production.

Is Blade at Risk of Cancellation?

Despite the turmoil, Marvel remains committed to releasing “Blade.” The script is expected to be completed over the summer, with Marvel searching for a new director. However, with the release date approaching, another delay seems likely, potentially pushing the film to 2026. The most pressing concern is retaining Mahershala Ali. As a two-time Academy Award-winning actor, Ali’s departure would be a significant blow to the project. Marvel must stabilize the production to keep Ali and meet the new release timeline.


“Blade” has faced a tumultuous pre-production phase, but Marvel is determined to bring the Daywalker back to the big screen. With the latest release date set for November 7, 2025, fans hope the film can overcome its challenges and finally begin filming. Whether “Blade” will meet this new deadline or face further delays remains to be seen, but its journey is a testament to the complexities of film production in the MCU.

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