We've been hearing that Marvel Studios' planned Blade reboot is going to be rated R for over a year at this stage, and director Yann Demange has finally made it official.
"They gave me the R, which is so important," he tells Deadline. "I come out of [his new short film, Dammi] wanting to be more open, more vulnerable and bring a more personal aspect to my work. But for Blade, we are going to have fun because Mahershala is such a deep actor."
"I'm excited to show a kind of ruthlessness, a roughness he has, that allows him to walk the earth in a particular way. I love him for that," he added. "He’s got a dignity and integrity, but there is a ferocity there that he usually keeps under the surface. I want to unleash that and put it on the screen."
Coming off Variety's recent exposé which outlined some of the (supposed) issues Marvel Studios has been plagued with over the past while, we also have some more details on the issues that have plagued the project.
The piece noted that Marvel is having a hard time nailing down the story (which isn't exactly a major revelation given the amount of writers and directors that have been attached at various points), and claimed that star Mahershala Ali threatened to away from the project at one point due to frustrations with the script.
Apparently, some early drafts saw Ali's new take on the Daywalker "relegated to third or fourth lead" in his own movie, and while this has been disputed by a writer who worked on a draft prior to the strikes (more here), it's clear that this production has been anything but plain sailing.
Now, we have some more drama to add!
According to Jeff Sneider on this week's episode of the Hot Mic, one of the movie's executives (he doesn't name them, but there's speculation that it may have been exec producer and one-time director Bassam Tariq) "parted ways" with the project after failing to "sound the alarm" early on when problems started to occur.
Apparently, Kevin Feige was not at all happy with the situation, and one source told Sneider that the ensuing confrontation was the only time he ever witnessed the studio boss get angry and "raise his voice."
Marvel Studios reportedly plans to bring Blade in on a budget of $100 million or under. Oscar-nominated Logan writer Michael Green is the latest scribe to take a crack at the script, and, as far as we know, Yann Demange (who stepped in to replace Tariq earlier this year) is still on board to direct.
Given the violent nature of vampire-slaying hero, there's been some speculation that this reboot might join Deadpool 3 as the studio's first R-rated feature. However, while Blade is expected to be dark and gritty in tone, falling on the edgier side of Marvel fare, it sounds like the aim is still to bring it in at the usual PG-13/12.
Hopefully, Blade is in good hands with Green, and this reboot starts to come together.