The Writers Strike has forced Marvel Studios to pull the plug on its new Blade movie — for now — and while every story needs a villain, make no mistake, the writers are very much the hero in this one.
Blade had been in pre-production for a late May start when the WGA told its membership “pencils down,” and though True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto had recently come on to rewrite the original script by Michael Starrbury, “time simply ran out,” according to an individual who spoke to the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the story.
This is the kind of delay that has real repercussions, in that it will cost Disney money, and who knows? Maybe after all this, Mahershala Ali sees it as a sign and walks away from the project altogether. I don’t think that’s what will happen here, given how long the two-time Oscar winner has already stuck with the project — first announced in 2019 — but it can’t help matters.
Yann Demange is directing the Blade reboot, which will co-star Mia Goth, Aaron Pierre, and Delroy Lindo. The movie had been slated to hit theaters on Sept. 6, 2024, though that release date will almost assuredly change. Will that cause a domino effect that will impact other Marvel movies — and possibly TV shows, considering the interconnectedness of the MCU? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Marvel hasn’t given up on Blade entirely, as the project will be prioritized once the strike ends and Hollywood returns to work, whenever that may be. Ironically, Marvel’s parent company Disney is one of the AMPTP members sucking the blood from writers, who can barely afford to live in Los Angeles thanks to the moguls calling the shots from their mansions.
Marvel is still keeping this busy this summer, as not only are Agatha: Coven of Chaos, Wonder Man, and Captain America: New World Order all currently in production, but Thunderbolts and Deadpool 3 are about to head into production this summer, and I’m not sure whether or not Daredevil: Born Again has wrapped given its super-sized episode order. As for Fantastic Four, it remains on track for a January start in London — which will also play host to Sony’s Venom 3 in the coming months — and not even the most pessimistic industry observers believe that the strike will last that long.
It remains to be seen whether other studio tentpoles will be impacted by the strike, but World of Reel reported on Friday that Paul Thomas Anderson‘s new film will be impacted, as will Clint Eastwood‘s Juror No. 2, and, quite possibly, Quentin Tarantino‘s supposedly final film, The Movie Critic. The 2007-08 strike impacted such tentpoles as Star Trek, Quantum of Solace, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the latter of which drew this response from its star, Channing Tatum:
“Look, I’ll be honest. I fucking hate that movie. I hate that movie.”
And that’s what happens when Hollywood’s real heroes — writers — aren’t around to save the day.