Mahershala Ali Reportedly Frustrated with ‘Blade’ Development Amid Claims He Is the Biggest Problem

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One extremely anticipated Marvel Studios project that had problems way before the strikes began is ‘Blade.’ It is an MCU-based movie following Eric Brooks, the most notable vampire hunter in comics, and a reboot of the already highly popular ‘Blade’ trilogy that contributed to paving the way for the MCU that we know today. 

It would be hard to summarize all the problems that ‘Blade’ had so far, the main star of the movie Mahershala Ali approached the studio with the pitch a long time ago and was officially announced as Blade in 2018. Since then, it’s been a constant cycle of script problems and the movie changed several writers (and directors) over the course of development.

Now several months after the studio parted ways with Yan Demange, the director of the movie, the dirt is rising to the surface. According to The Hollywood Reporter’s sources, the actor “exercised an inordinate amount of influence over the project.”

Mahershala Ali, attached to the ‘Blade’ project since 2019, chose Demange as director after Bassam Tariq left in September 2022. Marvel had presented Ali with a list of potential directors, but Ali, doubting their experience with big studios, conducted his own search and selected Demange. Ultimately it’s been rumored that Ali and Demange parted ways because Demange was difficult to work with…

Mahershala Ali has wielded significant influence over the ‘Blade’ project, which began after he expressed interest following his Oscar win for ‘Green Book.’ He sees ‘Blade’ as his ‘Black Panther.’ Despite efforts to start filming in May 2023 and hiring writer Nic Pizzolatto, the project was halted due to writers and actors strikes. This has caused multiple delays, impacting the schedules of others involved.

Since then the project has changed several writers, the latest one being Michael Green. The movie has also completely shifted its focus and storyline. What was set to be a period piece about Blade’s daughter and Liltih, is now a movie set in a present-day about Blade just killing vampires. Although it’s important to note that Mia Goth is still attached to the project, in the same role, and the built train set piece for the movie will be recycled in a different Disney project.

Ali’s attorney, Shelby Weiser, expressed frustration over the delays in the ‘Blade’ project, noting that despite the deal being made in 2019, filming has yet to begin. The project faced setbacks from the pandemic, Disney’s shift to streaming, and subsequent overproduction by Marvel. An insider remarked that ‘Blade’ suffered from a lack of attention and was a casualty of Marvel’s overextended development phase.

There are also reports that Ali will walk away from the project, especially due to his rumored new role in the upcoming ‘Jurassic World’ movie.

The exact amount Marvel has spent on ‘Blade’ remains unclear, but the studio is continuing with the project. Marvel has learned the importance of not rushing into production and prides itself on a high development-to-production ratio. The new plan involves writing the script over the summer before seeking a director.

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