Marvel's newest Blade movie starring Mahershala Ali is pressing the pause button on production. THR reports that after Blade lost its director Bassim Tariq, Marvel has decided to temporarily shut down production on the motion picture, which was scheduled to start in Atlanta in November. The search for a new director of Blade will begin. Production is thought to start back up in early 2023, and with a November 3, 2023 release for Blade, fans can expect Marvel to shift its release date once again since it would be nearly impossible to hit that date.
"They want to really get it right," a source said about Marvel wanting to select the right director for Blade. The belief was that it wouldn't take long for Marvel to find a new director to replace Tariq. However, it's been two weeks since the director change and a director has not been chosen. Pressing pause on the production now allows Marvel to take its time while also broadening the pool of potential directors.
ComicBook.com confirmed a new writer has been hired to board the project for rewrites as well. Moon Knight alumnus Beau DeMayo is actively rewriting the script first developed by Tariq and Watchmen writer Stacy Osei-Kuffour. The news was first reported by Murphy's Multiverse.
"Due to continued shifts in our production schedule, Bassam is no longer moving forward as director of Blade but will remain an executive producer on the film," Marvel said in a statement to THR. "We appreciate Bassam's talent and all the work he's done getting Blade to where it is."
Tariq added his own statement, "It's been an honor working with the wonderful folks at Marvel. We were able to put together a killer cast and crew. Eager to see where the next director takes the film."
Will Marvel Studios Delay Blade?
It is highly likely Blade will be shifted from its November 3, 2023 release date. Blade was set to begin shooting in November, and now subsequent rumors are pointing to Tariq's exit being caused by a variety of problems that are hanging over the film – including the alleged frustrations of star Mahershala Ali, as well as an alleged lack of focus from Marvel Studios and head Kevin Feige.
Hollywood scooper Jeff Sneider was one of the first to report that Blade was losing its director; Sneider followed up that report with some additional (bleak) details about Blade:
"I'm told that the current BLADE script is roughly 90 pages and features exactly TWO (lackluster) action sequences," Sneider tweeted. "Mahershala said to be very frustrated with the process. Feige said to be spread too thin. But hey, that's just what sources are telling me. Don't shoot the messenger".
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