Update: Starrbury’s posts have since been deleted.

Former Blade screenwriter Michael Starrbury isn’t buying the recent reports about the Marvel Cinematic Universe reboot’s script.

A recent piece published by Variety alleges that Blade star Mahershala Ali was ready to walk away from the project due to issues with the script. The article claims that Marvel Studios‘ vampire superhero film “morphed into a narrative led by women and filled with life lessons.” It also claims that Ali’s Eric Brooks/Blade was “relegated to the fourth lead” in his own movie.

Starrbury addressed these reports in a series of posts on X (Formerly Twitter). “I worked on a draft of this before the strike,” he wrote. “Never saw a version where Blade was 4th lead or it was a ‘narrative led by women and filled with life lessons’ but I suppose a lot could have happened since I had anything to do with it. He was in 99% of the scripts I was a part of.” Starrbury added that Blade “was in almost every scene when I was involved. I don’t know what happened but I’ll just say I seriously doubt he was ever the 4th lead in any draft.”

The Blade reboot’s troubled development

Still, the Blade reboot’s journey to the big screen certainly hasn’t been immune to speed bumps and roadblocks. In 2021, Marvel hired Bassam Tariq to direct the film from a screenplay by Stacy Amma Osei-Kuffour. Tariq ultimately left the project, with Yann Demange being tapped as his replacement in November 2022. At the same time, Starrbury was hired to do a page-one rewrite of the script.

This past April, news broke that Nic Pizzolatto had joined the fray to modify Starrbury’s script. Production was slated to begin in May. However, the since-concluded Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike forced Marvel to put the project on hold. Variety reports that Logan scribe Michael Green is handling the latest rewrite.

Furthermore, Variety isn’t the first to report about Ali’s alleged frustrations with the process. In September 2022 — before Demange and Starrbury were hired — industry insider Jeff Sneider reported that the two-time Oscar winner was unhappy with the film’s script. As the hunt for a new director continued following Tariq’s departure, /Film reported that Ali remained committed to the project, and would be heavily involved in its new creative direction.

This past March — several months after Demange and Starrbury took the reins — Sneider reported that Ali had continued to request script modifications. This was shortly before Pizzolatto’s involvement in the film came to light. Pizzolatto and Ali previously worked together on HBO’s True Detective.

The Daywalker returns to the big screen in 2025

Wesley Snipes previously starred as Marvel’s Eric Brook in New Line Cinema’s trilogy of Blade feature films from 1998 to 2004. Kirk “Sticky Fingaz” Jones took over the role for Spike’s short-lived spin-off series in 2006. The screen rights to Blade eventually defaulted to Marvel Studios in 2012.

At San Diego Comic-Con 2019, studio president Kevin Feige announced that Ali would star in an MCU Blade reboot. Ali made a voice cameo as the Daywalker in the post-credits scene of Marvel’s 2021 film Eternals.

Marvel Studios’ Blade is currently scheduled for release on February 14, 2025.

 Former Blade screenwriter Michael Starrbury isn’t buying recent reports about the Marvel Cinematic Universe reboot’s script.  Read More