Blade: One MCU script demoted character to fourth lead and was female driven

The development of the MCU’s Blade reboot, which may have a budget under 100 million, continues with a new script overhaul

Four years have passed since Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige announced that Blade was being rebooted as a Marvel Cinematic Universe project starring Mahershala Ali in the lead role… and it seems like the development of Blade has been causing headaches behind the scenes ever since that announcement was made. The project has passed through the hands of multiple screenwriters – Stacy Osei-Kuffour (PEN15), Michael Starrbury (When They See Us), True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto, Beau DeMayo (The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf). It had a director in Bassam Tariq (Mogul Mowgli). Tariq cast Delroy Lindo (Get Shorty) and Aaron Pierre (Old) alongside Ali – then he dropped out due to “scheduling issues”, and the character Pierre would have been playing was apparently written out of the story. Yann Demange (White Boy Rick) signed on to direct the film. Mia Goth (Pearl) was cast, possibly as the villain Lilith. Blade was just weeks away from filming when the production had to be delayed due to the writers strike, followed by the actors strike… and now that the writers strike has ended and we’re waiting to see when the actors strike will end, Variety reports that Feige has hired a new writer, Michael Green, to start the script over from scratch. In addition to that, Variety hears that Blade may have a budget that’s under $100 million, making it the lowest budgeted MCU film yet.

Here’s what Variety reported about Blade‘s development troubles: With Mahershala Ali signed on for the eponymous role, things looked promising for a 2023 release date. But the project has gone through at least five writers, two directors and one shutdown six weeks before production. One person familiar with the script permutations 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, a bizarre idea considering that the studio had two-time Oscar winner Ali on board.

Amid reports that Ali was ready to exit over script issues, Feige went back to the drawing board and hired Michael Green, the Oscar-nominated writer of Logan, to start anew. Speculation around town is that the studio is looking to make the film, now slated for 2025, on a budget of less than $100 million — a deviation from Marvel’s big-spending strategy.

Up to this point, the lowest budgeted MCU movies have been Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp, both of which cost around $130 million. But given that the Wesley Snipes Blade films had budgets that ranged from 45 to 65 million, it makes sense that Marvel would be aiming to bring this Blade movie in under 100 million as well. The character doesn’t need a huge budget to work… but he does need Marvel to find a good script for him.

In addition to Logan, Michael Green has previously worked on the screenplays for Green Lantern, Alien: Covenant, Blade Runner 2049, Murder on the Orient Express, The Call of the Wild, Jungle Cruise, Death on the Nile, and A Haunting in Venice. He has also written for DC Comics.

What do you think of Green being hired to rework the Blade script, and of the film having a budget under $100 million? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/blade-script-budget/

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