It seems that the writers’ strike has taken a huge bite out of “Blade.” Marvel Studios decided to shut down pre-production of vampire thriller “Blade” which starred Mahershala Ali, ahead of filming which was supposed to start next month in Atlanta. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.
The feature project, which has been paused once before, becomes the first tentpole movie to be impacted by the strike.
It marks the second pause the project has gone through following the first which happened when original director Bassam Tariq abruptly exited just weeks ahead of filming. Yann Demange subsequently took over as director.
Cast and crew members are being notified this afternoon.
“Blade” had recently hired “True Detective“ creator Nic Pizzolatto to work on the script, but, according to an insider, “time simply ran out.” The studio will restart the production once the strike is over.
Since the strike began on Tuesday, so far, the biggest impact has been on late night talk shows and “Saturday Night Live.” One drama series, Showtime’s “Billions,”halted production Thursday due to picketing.
But even with the “Blade” shutdown, Marvel is gearing up for one of the busiest times in the company’s history. Those already in production are continuing with the film “Captain America: New World Order” and the TV series “Agatha: Coven of Chaos” both currently shooting in Atlanta, whilst “Wonder Man” is shooting in Los Angeles. “Deadpool 3” is still on track to film later this month in London, and “Thunderbolts” remains scheduled to begin shooting in Atlanta in June.
“Fantastic Four,” which entered into a biggest casting search since Marvel hired Tom Holland to play Spider-Man eight years ago, the film set to release on January 2024 start date in London. That could change, if the strike were to drag for six months or even more, though according to sources it is unlikely to happen.