1998’s superhero horror movie Blade starred Wesley Snipes as day-walking half-vampire slayer. The movie was directed by Stephen Norrington and was based on Marvel Comics’ Blade by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan. The movie upon its release was a massive success, which was followed by a sequel in 2002, and a third installment in 2004.

Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali is very keen on portraying Blade on-screen | HBO Entertainment

In 2019, two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali was announced to be taking over the role of Blade in a reboot of the movie franchise. However, it is 2024 now and there has been no progress when it comes to the project except people dropping out and joining the project. The Studios have mentioned that they are optimistic about the project but fans think it’s unlikely.

Marvel Studios “very enthusiastic” about Mahershala Ali starrer Blade

At the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios Chief, Kevin Feige announced (via Variety) that with Mahershala Ali, they’d be working to reboot the Blade franchise. No writer or director at the time was attached to the project until 2021 when Osei-Kuffour got on board to write the screenplay and Bassam Tariq was supposed to helm the direction.

In Marvel’s Eternals, Ali’s voice as Blade was heard off-camera when Kit Harington’s character Dane Whitman is about to pick the blade. The following year, Delroya Lindo and Aaron Pierre joined the cast of the highly awaited movie and an official release date of November 3, 2024, was announced for the movie. In September of 2022, Tariq announced that he’d be stepping down from the position just two months before the movie was about to be set to film.

Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali says he is happy with the place where the movie’s direction is |Leave the World Behind- Higher Ground Productions

Tariq’s exit pushed the release date of the movie to 2024 and Yann Demange joined to take over Tariq’s job and Michael Starrbury as a screenwriter. In 2023, it was announced just a few days before the WGA strike that True Detective screenwriter Nic Pizzolatto had joined the team to write the screenplay but due to strikes the pre-production for the movie was shut down and the release date was pushed to 2025.

Aaron Pierre shared with Variety in March at the 55th NAACP Images Awards that he is no longer a part of Blade and as of now, Yann Demange has departed from the production. Eric Pearson, who has helmed Black Widow, The Fantastic Four’s script, was signed in to write the script making him the sixth screenwriter to get on board. Ali shared in December with EW when asked about the update on the project,

We’re working on it. That’s the best I could tell. I’m really encouraged by the direction of the project. We’ll be back at it relatively soon. I’m sincerely encouraged in terms of where things are at who’s on board and who’s leading the way.

The actor didn’t mention who was going to direct or write the screenplay for the movie. According to Variety, Marvel Studios’ insiders have suggested that the studios are very optimistic about the project and they’re sure that they’ll be able to bring the reboot on-screen as announced but fans believe that it’s very unlikely.

Fans believe Marvel Studios NOT interested in making Blade

In an interview with THR, the actor’s attorney, Shelby Weiser, who is also the attorney for Marvel star Simu Liu shared;

That deal was in 2019, and they still haven’t shot it, which is pretty much the craziest thing in my professional experience.

ScreenRant reports that since the announcement of the project in 2019, the reboot has been plagued with issues starting with either the director opting out or the screenwriter or the strikes. Movie Web suggested that Marvel Studios have had challenges working on a character that the audience is already familiar with, along with making it different from what they have already seen.

It has been known that the Blade movies starring Wesley Snipes have had a huge impact on the audience, and they’ve been expecting similar or maybe more since the reboot was announced. One of the reasons for the continuous delay could be this.

Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris in Swan Song | Apple TV

The other reason that should be looked upon is the fact that Phase 4 and Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have not quite been as successful as one would have expected. In fact, not only did the movies not work the way they were expected to, but the Disney+ shows didn’t work either.

Fans believe that the studios have not shown as much interest in the production of Blade as they have in other movies or shows set in the MCU. Ardent fans of the movie wrote on X that the studios had mentioned that they are not worried about getting it out quickly, adding that they just hope that if the movie is made, it’s done in the right way. A lot of fans wrote that the lack of Marvel Studios’ interest in getting this movie done is why they should just drop it.

Last year, in an interview with EW, Kevin Feige mentioned that it’s hard to hit the zeitgeist when there is so much content out there, adding that they have wanted MCU projects to stand out. But it seems like the studios haven’t worked enough to bring Blade, at least, to the production stage.

Fans have over the years mentioned that the studios have not paid much attention to the reboot of Blade as much as they should have, so maybe now with Erick Pearson, it could progress a little.

Blade trilogy can be streamed on Prime Video on VOD.

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