Mahershala Ali Wants Out Of Marvel’s Blade Because It’s Too Short And Boring?
Insider Jeff Sneider says Mahershala Ali wants to leave the Blade reboot because the film is too short and doesn't have enough action.
On Tuesday, the same day Bassim Tariq announced he was backing out of helming Marvel’s Blade reboot, insider Jeff Sneider tweeted that Mahershala Ali was already “very frustrated” with two things no one would expect of any Marvel movie–that Blade was too short and that it didn’t have enough action. The info Sneider got was that the Blade script was a mere 90 pages long (meaning the finished product would likely be around an hour and a half in length) and featured only two “lackluster” action sequences.
Sneider’s supposed revelations match up with our own exclusive report from Wednesday. Our own sources informed us that before Tariq’s departure, he and Mahershala Ali were at constant odds over the script. Tariq was reportedly attempting to add more elements to the script of which Ali didn’t approve.
If the rumors about the lack of action and length in the script are true, it’s tough to escape the conclusion that Mahershala Ali’s issues with the project are warranted. Not only was every one of the Wesley Snipes-led Blade films around two hours long, but Marvel Studios features in particular are known for often being longer affairs. In fact, this week we learned Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘s runtime will be 2 hours and 41 minutes; making it longer than every single MCU film so far except 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
The reports of a lack of impressive action sequences is particularly concerning. The very first Blade film opens with an incredibly memorable action scene with Wesley Snipes’s hero tearing through a night club of partying vampires. To drain the action out of a franchise known for such stylized violent sequences seems wrongheaded enough to make Mahershala Ali or anyone else run for the hills.
One has to wonder exactly what the impetus would be to make a Blade movie without a lot of great action scenes. It’s only speculation, but perhaps Mahershala Ali and Bassam Tariq have found themselves wrestling with the opposing needs of delivering an entertaining film about a vampire hunting superhero while remaining within the confines of Disney’s usual content restrictions. All three of the Snipes-led features were rated R, but as of yet Deadpool 3 remains the only MCU movie Kevin Feige has confirmed will come with an R rating.
With this year’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Marvel just barely kept things PG-13, and we already know certain sequences were cut to make that happen. Perhaps it’s similar cuts in Blade that Mahershala Ali is bristling at.
Regardless of what’s true and what isn’t, if Mahershala Ali is looking for an escape route, it’s tough to blame him. Blade currently has no director, the film is supposed to start filming in only a few months, and it will be expected to live up to a beloved, earlier superhero film. At this point it seems pretty likely that, at the very least, Blade‘s production will be delayed and Ali would no doubt be interested in freeing up his schedule to pursue other projects.