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After Huge ‘Blade’ Overhauls, Mahershala Ali Says He’s ‘Sincerely Encouraged’ by Where Things Stand and ‘Who’s on Board’ to Write and Direct

Mahershala Ali recently told Entertainment Weekly that he is feeling optimistic about his upcoming Marvel movie “Blade,” in which he will star as the comic book vampire hunter. The film, which won’t begin production until next year, has had a dramatic development period, to say the least.

Marvel first announced the project at Comic-Con 2019. “Mogul Mowgli” director Bassam Tariq came on board to helm the project in July 2021 with Stacy Osei-Kuffour writing the script, but he exited the film just over a year later and with only two months to go before cameras were set to start rolling. By then, Marvel had already set a Nov. 3, 2023 release date for “Blade.” The release was delayed to September 2024 as a result. “Lovecraft Country” director Yann Demange was brought in. Rumors of overhauled scripts plagued development as the Hollywood strikes put a pause on prep. Marvel bumped the release again to Nov. 7, 2025 and hired “Logan” and “Alien: Covenant” scribe Michael Green to write the movie.

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“We’re working on it. That’s the best I could tell you,” Ali told Entertainment Weekly about the rocky road to get the “Blade” movie filming. “I’m really encouraged with the direction of the project. We’ll be back at it relatively soon.”

“I’m sincerely encouraged in terms of where things are at and who’s on board and who’s leading the way as far as the writing of the script and the directing and all that,” Ali continued. “So that’s the extent of what I can tell you.”

Variety reported earlier this year that “Blade” had gone through at least five writers during its development. One person familiar with the script overhauls says the story at one point morphed into a narrative led by women and filled with life lessons. Blade was relegated to the fourth lead in that version of the script. Amid reports that Ali was ready to exit over script issues, Feige went back to the drawing board and hired Green to start anew. Speculation around town is that the studio is looking to make the film on a budget of less than $100 million — a deviation from Marvel’s typical big-spending strategy.

“Blade” remains on the release calendar for Nov. 7, 2025.

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