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The Blade Movie's Behind-The-Scene Issues Are Worse Than Marvel Fans Think

To paraphrase Wesley Snipes' titular vampire in 2004's "Blade: Trinity," some people are always trying to ice skate uphill. This essentially means that they like doing things the hard way — a sentiment that applies to Marvel's attempts to get its long-gestating "Blade" reboot off the ground. The film, which will see Mahershala Ali play the Daywalker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was announced in 2019, yet hardly any progress has been made since then. So what's the hold up?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, there are multiple reasons for the film's delay. The COVID-19 pandemic and the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike that shut down Hollywood are said to have contributed to the mess, and "Blade" has been forced to take a backseat while Marvel has prioritized other projects. The studio has been pretty busy producing content for Disney+ and theaters, and it's believed Kevin Feige and co. don't want to press ahead with "Blade" until they're confident that it will deliver the goods. For now, though, the project isn't at the top of everyone's to-do list.

Of course, it's difficult to deliver quality without good writers and directors in place. As it stands, a consistent creative team for "Blade" has yet to be decided, and some people have quit out of frustration. 

Blade has encountered creative struggles

Marvel's "Blade" reboot has been rocked with creative departures since the project was announced. Directors Bassam Tariq and Yann Demange stepped down due to internal frustrations, which have also resulted in writers coming and going. At one point, "True Detective" scribe Nic Pizzolatto was attached to pen the script, but the SAG-AFTRA strike effectively crushed those plans. "Thunderbolts" and "Fantastic Four" writer Eric Pearson was brought in to work on the script after Demange left the project, so at least there has been some productive movement amid the chaos.

While we're on the subject of writers, the THR report also claims that Marvel has struggled to stick with an idea for the long-awaited vampire movie. "Blade" rumors previously teased the MCU debut of a dark Marvel team and a story set in the 1920s. However, the current plan is to base the movie in the present day, but that could be subject to change if new creative minds board the project down the road.

On top of this, Mahershala Ali is said to have a lot of say on who gets hired behind the camera. As such, all future filmmakers attached to "Blade" will have to get his seal of approval, which could cause further delays, as the studio and the film's main star will have to find someone they agree on. At the same time, will Ali even stick around long enough for this movie to get off the ground?

Blade can't keep a cast in place

Marvel's "Blade" reboot hasn't just struggled to keep writers and directors in place. The THR report notes that actors Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre were let go after Hollywood shut down for last year's strikes, and it remains to be seen if they'll return to the project. Meanwhile, Mahershala Ali is said to be incredibly frustrated by all of the delays, but it seems he's willing to stick it out, as he's still on board to play the iconic Daywalker.

Mia Goth has also been attached to star in the "Blade" reboot for quite some time. She was originally cast as a vampire named Lilith, and that still appears to be the plan; she hasn't parted ways with Marvel yet. However, if this movie has taught us anything, it's that nothing is ever certain. 

This isn't the best news for Marvel fans, but Kevin Feige remains committed to getting "Blade" out of development hell. The one positive to take from this messy situation is that Marvel wants to give the project some proper attention, which is good news considering that the studio has been criticized for delivering quantity over quality in the Disney+ era. That said, the hold-ups are aggravating, and people will believe this movie is happening when they see it.