Not all is lost for Blade yet, as the movie just received a major boost in creative power. After Bassam Tariq exited the project back in September, Marvel Studios may have found its replacement, as well as a new writer.
According to both The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline, in a likely coordinated post approved by the studio, Yann Demange will be sitting in the director’s chair for the new movie, with Michael Starrbury at the keyboard. Demange is mostly known for directing the pilot episode of HBO’s Lovecraft Country, a series that also acted as an entry point for a major player in the new Saga of the MCU, when Jonathan Majors was cast as Kang the Conqueror. Starrbury worked on Netflix’s When They See Us, co-writing the final episode with Ava DuVernay.
What else do we know about Blade?
Besides the fact that Mahershala Ali is still attached to play the lead character, and will reportedly play a major role in the film’s creative rework, The Hollywood Reporter is hearing whispers of the movie possibly playing with the “edgier side” of the Marvel films. The tone is being described as similar to the original Blade films, and the film will fall into the action-thriller genre. THR‘s original URL for the article included a mention of the film possibly targeting an R-rating, though no such thing was ever included in the body of the piece.
Marvel is already set to make its first R-rated movie with the upcoming Deadpool 3. Under the previous iteration of the script, the film’s cast was set to include Delroy Lindo, Aaron Pierre, and Milan Ray. It is unknown if they will still be a part of it after the movie is reworked.
What happened to Blade?
Back in September, it was reported that Marvel Studios was hitting the pause button on the production of the film mere weeks ahead of cameras starting to roll in Atlanta. According to reports, the studio, as well as lead actor and executive producer Mahershala Ali, were not happy with the state of the script, which would have been barely 90 pages long and included two lackluster action sequences. The Illuminerdi also heard back then that the movie was going to be set largely in the 1920s, but would have featured multiple time periods beyond that decade.
Blade‘s production problems may or may not have been the result of Feige being spread too thin after Phases 4 and 5 forced him to be less involved with each project, once they increased their output also to include Disney Plus shows. Marvel Studios has been undergoing a lot of fire this past year and a half over lesser-quality projects and controversies with the VFX industry, among others.
Rumor has it that the company is now trying to go make things right, with them trying to fix its VFX pipeline issues that have hurt shows like She-Hulk and movies like Thor: Love and Thunder, and Feige getting back to a more hands-on approach with theatrical films like Blade and, of course, the back-to-back Avengers movies that will cap the Multiverse Saga.
Bassam Tariq exited that fateful night, and Moon Knight scribe and X-Men ’97 showrunner Beau DeMayo, who has become a go-to guy for Kevin Feige, was tapped to rework the script while the studio figured out a way to go. Meetings were held and pitches were heard, and after Demange impressed executives with his vision, he landed the job. It’s unknown if his idea included Starrbury, or if he boarded the project at a different time.
Blade was also pushed back from a November 2023 date to a September 6, 2024, release.
What do you think about the new creative team involved? Are you looking forward to Blade? Will Wesley Snipes cameo as a variant? Let us know in the comments and on our social media!
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