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Marvel Studios' Blade loses its second director in two years as the Mahershala Ali vehicle continues to stumble

The horror movie at the heart of the MCU cannot catch a break

Blade - Blood Hunt
Image credit: John Tyler Christopher/Marvel

When it comes to Marvel Studios’ Blade, the hits keep coming. Director Yann Demange has left the project, according to multiple reports, leaving the vampire movie without a director for the second time since it was announced five years ago.

The Wrap was the first outlet to report Demange had left the project, reporting that the split between the studio and the director was entirely amicable, and had “actually happened a while ago.” According to the report, insiders are suggesting that the recent decision to slow down Marvel’s output might have contributed to the move, with the suggestion being made that Marvel is currently concentrating on getting the project “right” rather than meeting a deadline to rush it into theaters.

Whatever the reason, Blade continues to be the most publicly troubled production the studio has had in some time; Demange joined the movie in November 2022, two months after original director Bassam Tariq stepped away from the role. (Tariq remains attached as an executive producer, however.) Tariq’s departure was officially because the movie has slipped its original production schedule, which was in part due to a continued number of rewrites to the screenplay.

The problems with the movie’s script continue; currently, Eric Pearson, who’s also written the screenplay for Marvel’s upcoming Fantastic Four, is working on a new draft, but the project has burned through writers: Pearson replaces Michael Green, who replaced True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto and co-writer Michael Starrburry. X-Men ’97’s Beau DeMayo was attached to the project as solo writer, at one point, as was Stacy Osei-Kuffour, who’d previously worked on HBO’s Watchmen.

If all of this sounds like a lot of work for something that feels so straightforward as a high concept — vampires in a world full of superheroes, and the badass who takes care of them! — it’s worth remembering that Blade has traditionally been a troublesome character for Marvel in general: outside of the successful three movies starring Wesley Snipes that made the character a household name, he’s been revived and relaunched a number of times in a number of different directions in comics across the past couple of decades with few things finding longterm favor with creators and fans alike. Maybe it’s just more difficult than it seems to make “badass in a trench coat, and he’s a vampire” actually work past the blogline…

Marvel Studios’ Blade is still, officially, on the calendar for release November 7, 2025. (Don’t be too surprised if that changes sooner rather than later.) Mahershala Ali remains attached as both star and executive producer... for now, at least.

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Graeme McMillan

Graeme McMillan: Popverse Editor Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.


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