In July 2019, in the middle of San Diego Comic-Con and while Kevin Feige presented the high stakes of Phases IV and V of his Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans were delighted by the appearance of Mahershala Ali on stage. The American actor then confirmed his casting as Eric Brooks alias Blade, the emblematic vampire of Marvel comics formerly embodied by Wesley Snipes in the cinema, for a reboot in good and due form. But since this attractive announcement on paper, the project is dangerously floundering as Marvel Studios and Disney have just pushed it back for another year. Today we invite you to come back to this unusual mishmash for a Marvel production, with an increasingly worrying, even chaotic development for Blade’s return to the big screen. MCU. Mahershala Ali releases fangsIn October 2020, in an episode of The Tight Rope podcast, Mahershala Ali explained that the reboot of the franchise had created dissension within the studios because of its format. Some saw it as an opportunity to make a series (to take advantage of the hype of the launch of Disney+ at the time), while for others, the vampire had to go back to the cinema box. Kevin Feige finally decided for the big screen, but the writing of the script was already taking some delay. Then, between the end of 2020 and 2022, Marvel made several casting announcements, including actors Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre, in roles unknown. Incidentally, we learned in February 2021 and then in July of the same year that Stacy Osei-Kuffour (Watchmen) and Bassam Tariq (Mogul Mowgli) had been recruited to respectively write the script and direct the film. So far, everything was fine. In January 2022, several American sites specialized in rumors but relatively reliable announce the start of the filming of the film between August and December of the same year. Subsequently, the date is confirmed by the census site Production Weekly, with filming planned in Atlanta and New Orleans under the working title “Perfect Imprints” (a common studio practice to cover their tracks and avoid the crowd of paparazzi around the set). Then appear the first problems and inaccuracies on the part of Marvel. In the summer of 2022, filming is first pushed back to fall 2022 and then to January 2023. Meanwhile, at San Diego Comic-Con which took place this year, Kevin Feige tries to reassure fans by revealing the release date of the film, then set for November 3, 2023. One would think that this is a good sign. Nay. Delay and lag galore But the situation has really gotten worse in recent weeks. First, several American media report Mahershala Ali’s frustration with the film’s jagged production, even if the person concerned has never officially confirmed (or denied) it in an interview. Several industry insiders also report a script deemed poor, even mediocre, consisting of 90 pages and only two action scenes, and which would be partly the source of Mahershala Ali’s anger. The winding production of Blade seems to be confirmed a little later when the Hollywood Reporter announces the departure of director Bassam Tariq, officially for scheduling conflicts, unofficially because the script is running late, despite the call for reinforcements from screenwriter Beau DeMayo (already at the is working on the Moon Knight series) this fall. Finally, this Tuesday, October 11, Marvel reveals in a statement that Blade production is entering a temporary hiatus. According to additional (but uncertain) information from The Direct, filming should really begin in May 2023, so the release of the film has been postponed to September 6, 2024, almost a year after its original broadcast. In the meantime, the supposed thirty-sixth feature film of the MCU no longer has an appointed director and Mahershala Ali also seems on the verge of abandoning the ship if the situation does not get better quickly. By the way, know that Blade has taken the place of Deadpool 3 in the Marvel release calendar and that the studio had to postpone three films as a result: Deadpool 3 (November 8, 2024) therefore, but also The Fantastic Four (February 14, 2025) and Avengers: Secret Wars (1st May 2026). Marvel’s vampire is literally sucking the blood of its creators, and it’s worrying for the future of the MCU, as rumors of Kevin Feige’s departure rumble in the distance.
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