Marvel Shuts Down Production On One Of Their Most Anticipated Movies

The highly anticipated Marvel Blade movie has been shut down for now.

By Vic Medina | Published

Marvel Studios has shut down production on Blade, the highly anticipated reboot starring Mahershala Ali (Luke Cage, Green Book), according to a report by ComicBook.com. The news comes amid reports of upheaval on the set, including concerns about a sub-par script and the departure of the film’s director. The film was in active pre-production in Atlanta, with filming expected to begin in November, but now, the future of the Marvel vampire flick is up in the air.

Nearly two weeks ago, the Marvel film lost its director, Bassim Tariq, so news of the delay is not surprising. At the time, Giant Freakin Robot reported exclusively that Tariq’s departure was due to the director’s clashes with Ali, including arguments about the film’s script. Tariq also reportedly tried adding elements to the Blade script in an attempt to improve it, which the Oscar-winning actor did not approve of.

Blade was first announced by Marvel at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, with Ali announced as the lead character, and a release date of November 3, 2023 was announced at this year’s Comic-Con. With the search for a new director on, and the script undergoing rewrites, reports that the film would likely be delayed to 2024 are a near-certainty. Ali remains on board to play Blade, with Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre the only other known members of the cast.

blade director

Marvel did its best to put a positive light on Tariq’s departure, stating “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…We appreciate Bassam’s talent and all the work he’s done getting Blade to where it is.” Tariq released a statement of his own, saying “It’s been an honor working with the wonderful folks at Marvel…Eager to see where the next director takes the film.”

Movie reporter Jeff Sneider broke details on the state of the script, the reason for so much contention, and revealed that it was only about 90 pages long, even weeks before cameras were set to roll. Word was the script only had two action sequences, and Marvel found them to be lackluster. Beau DeMayo (Moon Knight) is reportedly working on the script rewrite, while the frantic search for a new Blade director continues.

Sneider was the first to report that Tariq was leaving Blade as director, so it seems he has good sources close to the production.

The original Blade, with Wesley Snipes as the lead, was released in 1998, and was a hit for Marvel before X-Men kick-started the comic book movie revolution. Blade II followed in 2002, and Blade: Trinity (with Ryan Reynolds as a cast member) premiered in 2004. Reports of Wesley Snipes appearing in the reboot have been unconfirmed, as Snipes himself has said Marvel has yet to approach him, although script rewrites could change all of that.

Word of the delay comes just as another horror-themed Marvel project, Werewolf by Night, has premiered on Disney+ to broad acclaim from fans and critics. The approach to Werewolf (directed by former Rogue One composer Michael Giacchino) provides a pathway for the producers of Blade to follow, and this delay may be their effort to do just that.