There’s been rumours going around for over a year, about the movie Blade; not involving much of the titular character. And most recently these was a new Variety article, reporting on Marvel Studios being in crisis
One of the rumours about this film, would have seen Blade become more of a 4th lead role, for a female character to take centre stage over him, likely to be his daughter or some other person.
However, Michael Starrbury; a writer for one of the drafts of the movie (before the WGA strike, in May 2023), has responded to the Variety article. Starrbury mentions he ‘never saw a version where [Mahershala Ali] Blade was 4th lead’ in his own movie.
I worked on a draft of this before the strike. Never saw a version where Blade was 4th lead or it was a “narrative led by women and filled with life lessons” but I suppose a lot could have happened since I had anything to do with it. He was in 99% of the scripts I was a part of.Michael Starrbury’s post about Blade on X/Twitter.
In September 2022, Bassam Tariq was no longer directing Blade, although he continued to stay on as a producer instead.
According to Variety; Mahershala Ali was reportedly ready to exit the project, due to the script issues and delays.
Yann Demange became the new director for Blade and on November 1, 2023, there is now the addition of Logan (2017) writer; Michael Green, who has been hired to write the script from scratch.
Is Marvel Studios in trouble?
Currently, while the AMPTP are not bringing a good deal to the table, in order to put an end to this SAG-AFTRA strike, all of these struck studios are in trouble.
The longer it takes for a deal to be reached, more content will continue to be delayed, and the lack of actors marketing to create more of a buzz around their movies could also result in lower box office numbers.
The writers’ strike has only recently ended in late September, studios have been relying on spacing out already-completed projects to carry them through all of these strikes.
Actors are not able to begin or continue working on these projects, and neither can they promote their work in press junkets, and attend various other events such as red carpets for their work, so the marketing is only on trailers and pre-strike recorded clips.
Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and Wasp: Quantumania received poor reviews, while earning $463 million worldwide, on a $200 million budget.
James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy 3 was able to bring in nearly double that of Quantumania; $845 million worldwide, while receiving much higher praised reviews, on a $250 million budget.
There is also an issue surrounding Jonathan Majors involvement as Kang in future Marvel content, Quantumania’s post credit scene seemed to solidify his role as many variants and he’s still in Loki season 2.
If the actor is found guilty of his assault and harassment charges, Majors could face up to a year in jail and he would likely be recast. Jonathan Majors will be going on trial, this November 29.
In the Variety article, there’s also rumours that Doctor Doom could be there instead, as one of the overall Multiverse Saga villains.
The Marvels is one of Marvel Studios upcoming movies releasing on November 10, and this is going to be the first Marvel movie to premiere during this 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike. Previously, Nia DaCosta’s Captain Marvel brought in an incredible worldwide box office figure of $1.1 billion worldwide, in 2019.
In September, Kevin Feige has also completely scrapped episodes that had already been filmed for the new Daredevil: Born Again series. Marvel are going to start all over again, with a different approach (still starring Charlie Cox). Head writers on the series; Chris Ord and Matt Corman were fired from the project, as well as the directors.
There has been a rapid quantity of Marvel content being produced since Avengers: Endgame and Disney+ was created, and so many future titles announced way in advance.
As evident in GOTG Vol. 3 and Loki, where there’s good organic marketing, spread through word of mouth, due to a strong story, greater focus on character development, then the public will want to connect and engage with this content.
As well as much needed care taken to letting VFX workers have more time to work on movie and tv shows, this is all where Marvel’s content will succeed further.