Marvel’s vampire hunter Blade is a fierce warrior but he may have finally met his match: labor unions. The upcoming, long-in-development reboot of the Marvel franchise starring Mahershala Ali was scheduled to start filming this summer, aiming at a September 2024 release, but pre-production has been shut down due to the WGA strike.
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The Hollywood Reporter broke this news but made it very clear that while pre-production on the film has stopped, Blade hasn’t been completely stabbed through the heart. The film is expected to pick back up where it left off when the strike ends and writers return to work.
In the case of Blade, that writer was most recently Nic Pizzolatto, the creator of True Detective, who was brought on to give the script a little sprinkle of holy water. But, apparently “time simply ran out,” according to a THR insider, and instead of paying people to work based on an unfinished script, everyone is being sent home.
This isn’t the first obstacle that’s been put in Blade’s way. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige first announced the film way back in 2019, as a huge surprise at San Diego Comic-Con. Of course, the pandemic happened soon after, but beyond that, original director Bassim Tariq—working off a script by Watchmen’s Stacy Amma Osei-Kuffour—left the project over reported scheduling issues. Beau DeMayo (The Witcher) was then brought on to rewrite the script, at which point Lovecraft Country’s Yann Demarge came aboard to direct. Now, this.
But, at the very least, Marvel is doing the right thing by not forcing production to happen without a solid script. The script, after all, is what it’s all about and is exactly the point the Writer’s Guild of America and its members are trying to make with this strike. Seems like maybe it’s working. If it can get Blade, it can get anyone.
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