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Marvel’s ‘Blade’ reboot loses director…again

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The Blade reboot has gotten more bad news. After multiple production delays and setbacks, the film has now lost its director… again.

Filmmaker Yann Demange is no longer set to direct the Blade reboot for Marvel Studios. It’s reported that the parting was amicable, but no further clarification was offered as to why Demange departed the project. He becomes the second director to leave the film after first signing on, following the previous departure of Bassim Tariq. Tariq left the project in 2022 after signing on in 2021, and Demange’s hiring was announced in November 2022.

The new Blade movie has similarly been juggling out writers and reportedly undergoing several rewrites. Stacy Osei-Kuffour was brought on board to write a draft in 2021, while it was reported upon Demange’s hiring the following year that Michael Starrbury would rewrite the script. True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto and Logan co-writer Michael Green have also been attached to contribute to the screenplay at different points. The latest word is that Eric Pearson, who worked on Black Widow and the upcoming films Thunderbolts and The Fantastic Four, is writing the newest draft of Blade.

Reportedly, the Blade reboot is planned to start filming in Fall 2024 to make a November 2025 release date. There’s still time for a new director to be hired in order to continue on with the planned production schedule. With that noted, it’s also possible the movie could end up getting pushed back once again. There were previous rumors that star Mahershala Ali nearly walked away from the project over frustrations with the screenwriting process, though he publicly teased in December 2023 that he was happy with the current direction of the story.

“We’re working on it,” Ali told Entertainment Weekly. “That’s the best I could tell you. I’m really encouraged with the direction of the project. I think we’ll be back at it relatively soon… I’m sincerely encouraged in terms of where things are at and who’s on board and who’s leading the way as far as the writing of the script and the directing and all that. So that’s the extent of what I can tell you.”

The Blade reboot was officially announced by Marvel Studios at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019. In July, it will mark five full years since the movie was first announced. Ali later made his debut in the role with a voice cameo in the 2021 film Eternals.

Blade is scheduled to be released in theaters on Nov. 7, 2025.

MOVIES

Will Smith to star in sci-fi thriller ‘Resistor’ from Sony Pictures

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Following the success of “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” Will Smith is teaming up again with Sony Pictures for the sci-fi thriller “Resistor,” based on Daniel Suarez’s 2014 novel “Influx.” The movie hails from Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch and Tony Shaw of Escape Artists, which has been developing the project for years alongside Smith and Jon Mone through Westbrook. Heather Washington is executive producing, and Dave Wilson is a producer.

“Bullet Train” scribe Zak Olkewicz wrote the first draft, while Eric Singer (“Top Gun: Maverick,” “American Hustle”) penned the latest draft. The film is in development and currently in search of a director.

The plot of the film is under wraps, but “Influx” takes place in a dystopian society in which the government uses shady tactics to prevent technological advancement.

Smith’s latest effort with Sony Pictures, the fourth installment in the action comedy franchise “Bad Boys,” has collected $113 million and counting at the domestic box office, and $215.5 million globally. The franchise recently crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office.

Those box office results marked a big win for Smith, whose career was in jeopardy after he slapped Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars. In fact, “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” nods to that infamous moment with a scene in which Martin Lawrence repeatedly slaps Smith in the face to get him back into his “bad boy” self.

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Deadpool & Wolverine director to helm ‘Avengers 5’

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Director Shawn Levy may be sticking around the Marvel Cinematic Universe a bit longer. After he helmed this summer’s “Deadpool and Wolverine,” the director is being eyed by Marvel — though it’s in very early stages — to direct the next “Avengers” movie.

Destin Daniel Cretton, who made 2021’s Marvel movie “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” was previously supposed to direct the fifth “Avengers” movie, but he backed out in November 2023. That movie, which is scheduled for May 1, 2026, also does not currently have a title. It was originally named “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty,” but lost that title after Jonathan Majors, who was cast as the time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror, was convicted of assaulting and harassing his ex-girlfriend. After this untitled “Avengers” movie, the next will be “Avengers: Secret Wars,” set for May 7, 2027.

Levy’s “Deadpool and Wolverine,” which brings together the iconic superheroes played by Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman in Fox’s X-Men universe, will hit theaters on July 26. It will be the first “Deadpool” movie released by Disney after it acquired 20th Century Fox, and it marks the first R-rated MCU movie. Not to mention, it’ll officially bring Fox’s mutants into the proper MCU timeline, which fans have been clamoring for since the acquisition.

Levy previously worked with Reynolds on the 2022 family adventure movie “The Adam Project” (which included Marvel actors Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldaña) and 2021’s “Free Guy” (which had Easter eggs nodding to Captain America and Hulk). He’s also worked with Jackman on the 2011 action movie “Real Steel.”

Source: Variety

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Actors’ strike ends: The SAG-AFTRA deal, what happened, and what’s next

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In July, Hollywood’s actors joined writers on picket lines for the first time in 63 years. After nearly four months, the actors’ strike ended after SAG-AFTRA’s leadership approved a tentative deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on Nov. 8.

Members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists who work under the union’s film and TV contract with companies that belong to the AMPTP, a group that represents all the major producers in Hollywood. Members of the Writers Guild of America went on strike on May 2 but reached a tentative deal with the AMPTP on Sept. 24.

While the writers came to a tentative agreement with the studios in late September and ratified a deal in October, SAG-AFTRA remained on strike. SAG-AFTRA resumed talks with the studios but the strike dragged on as the two sides negotiated.

The negotiating committee of the performers’ union approved a tentative deal on Nov. 8. It will still need to be ratified by the members. Additionally, the actors who work under SAG-AFTRA’s interactive contract, including those who provide voice work for video games, are considering a second SAG-AFTRA strike.

How did the actors’ strike happen? SAG-AFTRA, a 160,000-member performers union, voted in favor of a strike authorization by 98% before negotiations began with the studios in June. After they couldn’t reach an agreement by the contract expiration on June 30, they extended talks for two weeks until July 12. Then, a federal mediator was brought in before the extension ended with no new contract.

On July 13, the SAG-AFTRA board voted to approve the strike. Actors joined the picket lines July 14. Fran Drescher, president of SAG-AFTRA and former star of “The Nanny,” delivered a fiery speech when the union announced its strike plans.

SAG-AFTRA proposed that a third-party company measure the success of shows and that residual payments be tied to how they perform. AMPTP companies rejected that idea, arguing that many streaming platforms are not yet profitable. Other sticking points were over self-taped auditions, contributions to the union’s health and pension plan and a pay increase.

Artificial intelligence also emerged as a major issue in negotiations.

Some high-profile projects already in production, including “Deadpool 3” with Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman and “Gladiator 2,” starring Paul Mescal, Pedro Pascal and Denzel Washington, have shut down because of the strike.

SAG-AFTRA has granted waivers to some independent films and television shows. The projects allowed to continue filming are not affiliated with the major studios and streaming giants that are members of the AMPTP.

Projects with big names attached, including Mel Gibson, Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Paul Rudd and Jenna Ortega, are among those allowed to continue filming.

The work stoppage does not apply to performers who work under other contracts, such as actors who work on commercials, soap operas and talk shows. Broadcasters who are in the union also are not affected. Actors (and writers) cannot attend promotional events.

SAG-AFTRA specifies that actors cannot act, sing, dance, perform stunts, pilot on-camera aircraft, puppeteer or do performance capture and motion capture work in front of the camera. Impacted events include San Diego Comic-Con and the London premiere of “Oppenheimer.”

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