Is the Marvel bubble getting closer to popping?
A handful of movies on the brand’s slate have been pushed back. Deadpool 3 was moved from Sept. 6, 2024, to Nov. 8, 2024. Fantastic Four has been pushed back from Nov. 8, 2024, to Feb. 14, 2025. The Avengers: Secret Wars movie will no longer come out on Nov. 7, 2025, but instead on May 1, 2026. It’s unclear why Marvel has decided to delay the release of these films, but there’s a clear answer to why the upcoming Blade project has moved from Nov. 3, 2023 to tentatively Sept. 6, 2024. The vampire anti-hero film starring Mahershala Ali has had its pre-production phase paused because it's in a state of disarray.
A few weeks ago, Blade’s director Bassam Tariq (Mogul Mowgli) left the project even though filming was slated to begin in November. Marvel did release a statement saying “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.”
This seems like a solid reason why Tariq and Blade could not move forward, but perhaps it could have something to do with the same reason Terence Nance left Space Jam: A New Legacy. Who knows? Blade’s script is also getting completely rewritten. Stacy Osei-Kuffour, whose writing credits include Watchmen and PEN15, was tapped to write the screenplay in February. There have been rumors that her 90-page script is the source of all the behind-the-scenes strife.
There’s been speculation that Ali is frustrated with how it turned out, namely that there are only two action sequences in it. Whatever the case may be, Tariq and Osei-Kuffour, who would have been the first Black woman to pen a Marvel movie, are talented in their own rights and can hopefully move onto projects without so much red tape, films that might be more closely aligned with their interests.
It appears as though Marvel has a lot resting on Blade as a character during their next phase, so these issues will likely get resolved sooner than later. But, as far as the quality of this project goes, things aren’t looking too promising.