Despite rumors that Mahershala Ali would depart Blade, the actor is still on board and reportedly heavily involved in the rewrites.
Despite multiple delays to Marvel Studios Blade, star Mahershala Ali is still attached to the project and is even involved in the film’s rewrites. Marvel Studios first announced that the two-time Academy Award-winning actor would play the role of Blade in the Marvel Cinematic Universe back at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. The presence of Ali playing Marvel’s most iconic vampire hunter was an exciting development that many did not expect.
Development on Blade has hit multiple delays, with the film’s director Bassim Tariq departing the project in September 2022 forcing Marvel Studios to put the production on hold. The film was set to enter production in November 2022 with a release date set for November 3, 2023. The production shutdown forced Marvel Studios to delay the film to September 6, 2024, which resulted in delays for Deadpool 3, Fantastic Four, and Avengers: Secret Wars. Marvel Studios has brought on a new writer to rework the script and rumors started to circulate that Ali was unhappy with how Blade was coming along and might depart the project.
While reporting about Blade’s delay, Slashfilm reported that Ali is still fully on board the project to star and is also helping shape the film’s creative direction. Sources for Slashfilm indicated that reportedly part of the delay is to incorporate more rewrites that Ali requested for the movie.
Will The Blade Release Date Delay Affect Ali’s MCU Future?
This delay in Blade’s production frees up Ali’s schedule to take on other films while also giving Marvel Studios time to find the right filmmaker to helm the project. With Blade now set to open in theaters in 2024 that will mean Ali has been attached to star in Blade for five years. Ali made a voice cameo in the after-credit scene of Eternals, and while he did not appear Marvel Studios could use this delay to the film to incorporate Blade into more MCU after-credit teases.
Ali is heavily invested in Blade, and without his involvement, it is unclear if the character would be a priority for Marvel Studios. It was Ali who pitched the idea of himself playing Blade to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, which resulted in the film getting a green light. Marvel Studios likely wants to keep Ali on board as it certainly elevates the project to have an Academy Award-winning star so heavily involved in one of their superhero films. Ali has a passion for Blade that he likely wants to see through not just in one film but in future MCU entries.