John Wick Director Had Talks With Marvel Regarding the Blade Reboot

Marvel’s Blade could have moved forward with John Wick director Chad Stahelski if things had gone according to plan. Stahelski, a former stuntman and kickboxer, made his directorial debut in 2014 with the Keanu Reeves-starrer action thriller John Wick and has since gone on to helm all the sequels of the franchise. But before John Wick, Stahelski and co-director David Leitch worked as stunt coordinators on dozens of Hollywood blockbusters, including several Marvel films.

After the success of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Stahelski wanted to venture into superhero territory and had discussions with Marvel boss Kevin Fiege regarding the same. One of the films Stahelski pitched to Feige was Blade, which was in the early stages of development back then, with Mahershala Ali attached to star. Here’s what Stahelski told Comicbook.com.

MOVIEWEB VIDEO OF THE DAY

“Marvel was very influential in my career. I owe them a great deal. Kevin [Feige] is an awesome guy and I’ve worked for him many times on second unit. After John Wick 3, he was nice enough to carve out a big chunk of time and have nice talk. He’s been a…in a way…a very strong mentor, even though it was a short period of time. I’ve only talked to him a few times, but he has been very influential in mindset and how to do it. And he actually asked me, ‘What could we ever do?’ I was like, ‘Look, I’m not going to lie to you. I don’t know if I fit that kind of studio mold, but Blade would be the one interesting thing I’d like to do’.”

Chad Stahelski Wanted To Make An ‘Edgy, R-Rated’ Blade Movie

Chad Stahelski, with his extensive martial arts and action film background, would have been a great choice for Blade, a character synonymous with violence. But Stahelski figures that’s exactly why his Marvel discussions didn’t bear fruit.

“I don’t know if I would’ve been the best choice for that in the direction they wanted to go. If you want to do the edgy rated R version, yeah, give me a call. If you want to be non-apologetic, yeah. That’s me. But I think they’re protecting their brand, they’re doing their thing. The individual they selected, I think is a very good director, and I think will do a great job in the direction that I think they want to take the property.”

While Stahelski doesn’t explicitly state the reason why he never got the offer, he reckons Marvel wanted to protect its brand, though it’s still not confirmed if Blade will be rated R or not. Bassam Tariq (Mogul Mowgli) will direct Blade from a screenplay by Stacy Osei-Kuffour (Watchmen). Along with Mahershala Ali in the lead as the titular day-walking vampire/vampire hunter, Blade also features Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre in undisclosed roles.

Blade is set to hit theaters next year on November 3. Hopefully, it’ll stay true to the comics and the character’s violent origins.

As for Stahelski, he has become one of the most sought-after filmmakers in Hollywood thanks to his unique style of blending action and storytelling. He is also developing the Highlander reboot with Henry Cavill and Sony’s Ghosts of Tsushima movie. Stahelski is currently busy in post-production on John Wick: Chapter 4, set to premiere on March 24, 2023.