Mahershala Ali Sounds Optimistic About ‘Blade’
Perhaps no production has been more indicative of the current state of Marvel Studios than Blade.
The film was initially announced in 2019, with Mahershala Ali cast as the titular character. Blade was revealed when Marvel could do no wrong, and the MCU seemed ready to explode in all directions.
However, since the film was revealed, Blade has seen its release date pushed back from November 3, 2023, to September 6, 2024, before being delayed again until November 7, 2025.
A Series of Delays
The reasons for the delays have been numerous and concerning.
Original director Bassam Tariq left the project in 2022, shortly before filming was to commence. He would eventually be replaced by director Yann Demange.
When Demange was announced as Blade’s new director, Marvel also revealed that Miachel Starrbury was rewriting the original Stacy Osei-Kuffor script.
Then, in April 2023, it was announced that Nic Pizzolatto had signed on to write the film, only for that writer to be replaced by Michael Green in November 2023. Things got so bad that Ali was reportedly ready to walk away from the project altogether.
Finally, as filming was once again started in June 2023, production on Blade was shut down due to the WGA strike. Four years after the film was initially announced, we are seemingly only marginally closer to seeing Blade hit theaters.
Mahershala Ali Gives an Update
In a recent interview with EW, however, Mahershala Ali sounded optimistic about the direction that Blade is heading in. By the sound of things, the film may have finally found its footing.
“We’re working on it,” Ali stated. “That’s the best I could tell you. I’m really encouraged with the direction of the project. I think we’ll be back at it relatively soon.”
As to reports that the actor was considering leaving the film, Ali reassured fans that he was happy with how things were progressing.
“[I’m] sincerely encouraged in terms of where things are at and who’s on board and who’s leading the way as far as the writing of the script and the directing and all that,” he said. “So that’s the extent of what I can tell you.”
Blade Will Be Rated ‘R’
It seems that the new version of Blade will take a darker turn.
Yann Demange has confirmed that the film will have an R rating, saying, “I’m excited to show a kind of ruthlessness, a roughness [Ali] has, that allows him to walk the earth in a particular way. I love him for that. He’s got dignity and integrity, but there is a ferocity there that he usually keeps under the surface. I want to unleash that and put it on the screen.”
While they may still have a while longer to wait, it appears as if Blade fans may finally get the film they were hoping for after all.