Marvel Reportedly Tried to Demote Mahershala Ali in His Own Movie

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

How does a two-time Oscar winner playing the titular role in a major film reboot wind up relegated to the “fourth lead” role? Your guess is as good as ours, but according to Variety, Mahershala Ali considered exiting Marvel’s Blade reboot when the studio decided to do just that. In a new feature documenting the alleged chaos unfolding within the film studio, Variety reports that the production has burned through “at least five writers, two directors and one shutdown six weeks before production.” A source tells the trade that one rewrite downgraded Ali’s role in his own movie, but when reports emerged that the decorated actor was getting ready to jump ship, Marvel boss Kevin Feige reportedly changed course and hired a new writer—Logan scribe Michael Green. Variety further reports that according to “[s]peculation around town,” the film’s budget is relatively puny—under $100 million. Feige declined Variety’s request for comment.

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