MCU’s Blade Reboot On Pause Ahead Of Filming Start Due To Writers Strike
Marvel’s Blade is putting a pause on pre-production efforts amid the Writers Guild of America strike. First announced in 2019, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Blade movie is set to star two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali as the titular half-vampire vampire killer, who was previously portrayed onscreen by Wesley Snipes in the Blade trilogy running from 1998 through 2004. Blade is currently scheduled to release in September 2024.
However, that could change, as THR now reports the ongoing writers strike has led Marvel Studios to halt pre-production on the Blade reboot. The film was reportedly gearing up to begin shooting at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta this month. Marvel recently tapped Nic Pizzolatto to write the script, but as a source reveals, “time simply ran out,” meaning the script was not completed before the writers strike took effect.
This delay is one more setback in a run of setbacks that has plagued the new Blade film. The project has been in the offing since 2013, when it was first teased that Marvel was developing a script. After officially announcing the film in 2019, Marvel gave Blade a release date of November 3, 2023. However, they pushed the release back after original director Bassam Tariq left due to creative differences and was replaced by Yann Demange.
Demange joined at the point that the previous screenplay by Stacy Osei-Kuffour was being rewritten by Michael Starrbury. The most recent news on the screenplay front was the addition of Pizzolatto, who was announced to have joined the project this April, mere weeks before the film’s production was originally scheduled. That situation had already called the film’s projected production start date into question before it was officially delayed by this week’s strike.
There is currently no way to predict when the 2023 writers strike will end, though the most recent major strike in 2007 lasted for 14 weeks. This could severely impact Blade’s proposed 2024 release date. However, the strike will also affect any upcoming unwritten Marvel projects, so the studio may elect to space out their completed releases to make up for the impending gap in their schedule once the negotiations are settled.