Marvel Studios Taps Director Yann Demange And Writer Michael Starrbury To Reshape ‘Blade’

by Erik Amaya

Blade is getting a creative retooling.

A month or so after original director Bassam Tariq left the production, The Hollywood Reporter claims Lovecraft Country‘s Yann Demange will take the helm of the troubled Marvel Studios production while When They See Us‘s Michael Starrbury will do a page one rewrite of the script. Reportedly, the tone will go for something “dark and gritty” in lieu of employing the studio house style and hew closer to the first Blade film cycle.

Currently, the plan is to being shooting early in 2023 — the film was meant to begin production under Tariq sometime this month — and hit its current September 6th, 2024 release date. Of course, things could change rapidly as Disney itself deals with a monumental leadership change, the ouster of former CEO Bob Chapek and the return of Bob Iger to the top spot, and Marvel’s own plans continue to evolve and molt as production realities stretch the current Multiverse Saga into 2026.

Perhaps the most curious aspect of the news is the notion that Tariq’s vision for Blade may have been more in line with lighter, jokier Marvel series like Guardians of the Galaxy or Ant-Man and the Wasp. While Blade (Mahershala Ali) can exist on that wavelength, the previous films proved he excels in a more serious part of the Marvel reality. And as Ali reportedly approved of these changes, he presumably also wanted something closer to the horror tone established in 1997’s Blade feature. How that works with his voice-only cameo in Eternals or how he’ll mix in with the other characters as the Multiverse Saga heads towards its conclusion is anyone’s guess, but there is a concerted effort on Marvel’s part to introduce more traditional horror elements into its multiverse.

In the meantime, Blade is till part of Phase 5 and will presumably bow in the Fall of 2024.

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