Last summer, Marvel Studios announced the lead of its upcoming Blade reboot and everyone collectively lost their shit with excitement because that person is Mahershala Ali.
According to some insider sources, Blade is expected to premiere sometime in the fall of 2022, but with coronavirus-based delays, who knows if that’s solid. For now, though, the exciting thing is that Marvel Studios is reportedly searching for Black writers to join the film’s crew. You read that right—not just writers, Black writers. I said what I said; you read what you read.
Interestingly enough, this blurb was part of a larger piece by The Hollywood Reporter, which examined a growing trend in making sure talent behind-the-scenes reflects the characters portrayed on-screen in race and ethnicity. When we talk about diversity in Hollywood, it’s always important to expand the conversation so that we’re not only talking about on-screen talent. This year, Hollywood is seemingly experiencing a “reckoning,” so now’s the time to seriously discuss it? I guess. Holler at me when the discussions become serious enough where we see it reflected in the credits or the visual evidence of the writers’ rooms. Something!
“I have seen an increased commitment and desire for directors and writers to have something in connection with the potential project,” ICM literary agent Ava Greenfield told THR. “If, for example, the story is centered on Black woman, there is an initial commitment from buyers to find a Black female director or writer for this project. It comes from this understanding that there has to be a connection to the material by a writer or a director.” Greenfield represents Black filmmakers such as Matthew A. Cherry (Hair Love) and Regina King (One Night In Miami).
“As they start to make this outreach, studios are finding that people of color have interest in telling all kinds of stories,” Greenfield continued. “It’s not necessarily just telling stories featuring trauma onscreen. Black people are also interested in comic books, in superheroes, in interesting histories of Black people as a whole.”
Wait! Sound the alarms!!! You mean to tell me when studios actually actively reach out to creators of color instead of the usual presumptive condescension (and outright lies), they’re finding that creators of color have a breadth of ideas and imagination that could ultimately fare better for the Hollywood industry? Shut the front door wide open!
So, like I said—give me a ring when we see tangible results and not lip service. Have your people call my people. As far as Blade goes, Black Twitter already provided plenty of notable and suitable Black writers who could easily take up this job (with some writers shooting their own shots!).
And hell, there’s also nothing wrong with giving an emerging Black writer a chance (of a lifetime), too. We’ll see how it goes!