Stephen Dorff: Marvel’s ‘Blade’ Should Be R-Rated

Written by on January 27, 2023

“I wish Mahershala the best,” Dorff added of his “True Detective” co-star. “He’s a good buddy.”

Stephen Dorff is slicing through the upcoming “Blade” remake from Marvel.

The star of the original 1998 comic book film, led by Wesley Snipes, criticized the expected PG-13 rating for the new movie, set for a September 2024 release. Dorff’s former “True Detective” co-star Mahershala Ali takes on the “Blade” title role with director Yann Demange now helming the adaptation after Bassam Tariq exited the film two months before the slated production start date. While Marvel executives have boasted “Blade” to be the first MCU “horror film,” Dorff called out the intended PG-13 rating.

“I heard it’s going to be PG-13, which I think might be a mistake, because R-rated comic book movies are the ones that seem to be good and the other ones…” Dorff exclusively explained during the 2023 IndieWire Studio at Sundance, presented by Dropbox. “‘Blade’ is a pretty dark comic so you want to go where it’s supposed to go, but we’ll see. I hope it goes well. I don’t really have anything to do with it.”

Dorff added, “I wish Mahershala the best. He’s a good buddy and we did ‘True Detective’ together. He’s a great actor.”

The “Immortals” alum recently slammed newer comic book films as a whole, saying that the adaptations “suck” despite “making a bunch of money” at the box office.

“Nobody’s remembering ‘Black Adam’ at the end of the day,” Dorff told The Daily Beast. “If comic book movies were more like when I started when we made ‘Blade,’ or the few that have been decent over the years, like when [director Christopher] Nolan did ‘The Dark Knight’ and reinvented Batman from Tim Burton, who’s obviously a genius…when they were interesting, like when [director Stephen] Norrington did ‘Blade,’ and [director] Guillermo [del Toro] was fucking around in it. But all this other garbage is just embarrassing, you know what I mean?”

Dorff added, “Marvel is used to me trashing them anyway. How’s that PG ‘Blade’ movie going for you, that can’t get a director? Because anybody who goes there is going to be laughed at by everyone, because we already did it and made it the best. There’s no Steve Norrington out there.”

Instead, Dorff has been turning his professional attention to up-and-coming talents like “Divinity” director Eddie Alcazar, whom Dorff called a “visionary” during IndieWire’s Sundance Studio.

“He’s the new breed. We’re trying to find the new breed as we all get older, right?” Dorff said. “I’ve lost a lot of my directors that I grew up in my ’20s working with, just as I’ve gotten older. That’s the process as we grow. I think it’s their way of saying, ‘This is the new guy.’”

Steven Soderbergh and Darren Aronofsky have also given their seal of approval to Alcazar’s sci-fi drama “Divinity,” starring Dorff, Scott Bakula, Moises Arias, Karrueche Tran, Jason Genao, and Bella Thorne.

“It feels like ‘Citizen Kane.’ It feels old school but it’s so modern,” Dorff said. “It’s such an intense movie.”

And smaller budget films is what drives Dorff today, with the actor saying, “I don’t mind being experimental and going on a journey with someone like Eddie, who I think is going to be a very big filmmaker. I also like more structured work too, like having a script and knowing what I’m shooting and having time to shoot it. Sometimes having too much time on a big movie, I get a little bored. I like to shoot fast. I like to lay it down. When I’m ready, I like to go. A lot of big movies, you sit around a lot in the parking lot in your trailer and eat and wait, eat and wait. Indie filmmaking, what I like about it is you have to work. You have to shoot. You have to make decisions. I think film is alive that way.”

He summed up, “If everyone is in the right groove and the right rhythm, indie filmmaking can be beautiful, it’s just harder. Everything is the same. You can make a $100 million movie and $1 million movie and the only thing that’s different is there’s more people, there’s more food, more trucks, more teamsters, there’s bigger sets. It’s the same thing. When they say ‘action,’ it’s all going through the camera the same way.”

Watch our interview with Dorff at the IndieWire Studio at Sundance, below.

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