Marvel Fires Blade Exec: Said To Be In Good Hands

Jeff Sneider says an exec has left after not sounding the alarm bell early enough.

Jeff Sneider says an exec has left after not sounding the alarm bell early enough.

Blade Marvel Producer Exits Movie

There is possibly bad and good news for Marvel’s Blade movie as it is now claimed an executive on the film has been fired over the reported troubles surrounding the production but it’s now said the film is in good hands.

Following Variety reporting on all the problems, Jeff Sneider added what he had heard and tweeted about it on Thursday night.

“EXCLUSIVE via THE HOT MIC: The executive who was overseeing BLADE has exited Marvel Studios. A source indicated it was because they didn’t sound the alarm early enough regarding problems on the project. Their IMDB and LinkedIn profiles have not been updated yet,” tweeted Sneider.

Update: Sneider went into detail about what he was told from a source on the Hot Mic on YouTube with John Rocha. See below. (editor’s note: this article has been edited to reflect what Sneider now says)

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Marvel's Blade

Marvel exec fired

“I’m told the executive who was working on Blade basically tried to obscure what was going to be in this draft from [writer] Stacy Osei-Kuffour. He either tried to intentionally obfuscate what the draft was going to entail,” explained Sneider.

Sneider continued, “Another source put it as he didn’t sound the alarm on the process and what trouble the project was in. I’m told he was fired. Another source says it was a partying of the ways. Who leaves Marvel? It’s the dream job for most geek executives. I don’t think a lot of people are leaving on their own accord.”

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Kevin Feige pissed

Sneider also says he heard Kevin Feige blew up over how bad things were going with Blade.

“My source said, and you know Marvel didn’t comment on anything about this, but they said ‘it’s one of the few times that anyone has actually ever heard Kevin Feige yell at someone.’ That was the quote. We could change that to ‘raised voice,’ but it was one of the few times that this individual had heard Kevin ever raise his voice,” said Sneider.

Sneider added, “So the executive on Blade – who I’m not going to name, you can maybe figure out who it is – is no longer with Marvel. And that is confirmed.”

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Good news

The report from Variety also said Kevin Feige put another writer on the film.

“My source says it’s in good hands with [Michael Green],” revealed Sneider. “They feel he has a good handle on Blade and [Mavel is] committed to getting that one right.”

Sneider also said Variety stating Blade will have a budget of less than $100 million is likely not true.

“Marvel doesn’t make movies for under a hundred million dollars. That’s not their model for a theatrical release. I was told Blade will have the same or a similar budget to that of other Marvel movies,” he said.

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Called Marvel

Sneider adds he called Marvel but they said the executive was no longer with Marvel.

 “It was interesting you know about that executive. I called Marvel and asked to speak with them before going on the air with this story and the person who answered the phone said ‘He’s no longer with the company,’ and then they were like, ‘Oh wait, uh, actually, he’s working somewhere else, from a different location,” said Sneider. “And I was like, ‘That was a weird thing to say.’ I gave that person a chance to comment, and I just haven’t heard back prior to going on here.”

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Relegated to fourth lead likely not true

Variety also said Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali was relegated to the fourth lead, but Sneider says he doesn’t think that is the case.

“There was pushback in that it wasn’t necessarily going to be three women. Yes, there were drafts where I think that there were strong female characters,” he explained. “You could call them lead characters in a sense – you know, what is a lead, and where do we draw the line? But I think in those drafts Blade was still very much a lead character. I don’t think he was relegated to the fourth lead or that the focus was on anywhere but Blade, but maybe it was Blade and, you know, two strong female characters or whatever it was.”

Sneider continued, “So I think that there’s you know truth to that element it, but does that make sense to anybody that that someone would get hired to write a Blade movie and Blade would be the fourth character?”

Following Variety’s article screenwriter Michael Starrburry took to Twitter to shoot Variety’s claims down as he worked on a draft of the script (see below).

“You know I kind of have to go with Starrburry on this, especially if he’s seen all the drafts, right?” said Sneider. “I don’t know which writer he was in the process. I think that they’re at number six right now, so I don’t know if he was three, or four, or five, but yeah, it just seems a little farfetched and a little outlandish, but I don’t know. I don’t have [the writer of the Variety article] Tatiana’s sources so it’s tough to stay.”

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What is going on with Blade?

Blade has been reported to be having massive problems for a while, but it was Variety’s article from Wednesday about the “Crisis at Marvel” that things really came to a head.

The report from Variety says Blade has “gone through at least five writers, two directors and one shutdown six weeks before production,” said “the story at one point morphed into a narrative led by women and filled with life lessons,” said “Blade was relegated to the fourth lead,” and that “Ali was ready to exit over script issues.”

Variety also added in the article that “Feige went back to the drawing board and hired Michael Green, the Oscar-nominated writer of Logan, to start anew” and that Blade will now have “a budget of less than $100 million.”

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In defense of Blade

A writer on an early draft of the script and a pair of Twitter scoopers did come out in defense of Blade, stating the Variety article is incorrect, so bear that in mind.

“I worked on a draft of this before the strike. 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,” tweeted screenwriter Michael Starrbury.

“One claim debunked and I can confirm most of what is said in the Variety article is wrong,” tweeted MyTimeToShineHello.

Sister account CanWeGetSomeToast added, “Comments from alleged ‘sources’ sharing unfounded claims on Mahershala Ali’s ‘BLADE’ and Nia DaCosta’s work on #TheMarvels clearly illustrates the type of audience Variety wanted to reach. Shame on them.”

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