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Marvel Studios finds a new writer and director for Mahershala Ali's Blade

Yann Demange, who directed the pilot for HBO's Lovecraft Country, will head up the movie moving forward

Image credit: Marvel Entertainment

After a scary couple of months, Marvel Studios’ Blade is finally getting on track, with a new director and new writer stepping on board the Mahershala Ali project — and, according to reports, a new, darker tone for the project perhaps more in keeping with what fans wanted from the movie all along.

Following the surprise exodus of Bassam Tariq from the project in September — reportedly over creative differences with the studio — Blade had to be put on hold, even though the feature had originally been scheduled to start shooting this month in Atlanta, Georgia.

This break allowed Marvel to reassess the entire project, including bringing on Emmy-nominee Michael Starrbury for a new screenplay, which the Hollywood Reporter claims will be edgier and grittier than the version that was originally intended for production.

Alongside Starrbury, Marvel has hired Yann Demange — known for directing the pilot episode for HBO’s ill-fated Lovecraft Country — to take over as director on the project, with a new production start date in early 2023 and an eye to hold onto the September 6, 2024 release date the project is already pencilled in for.

Tariq’s decision to step down from the project came just a couple of months after he’d been officially named as director, suggesting that the project has been in motion for quite some time; according to insiders, the previous screenplay was part of the cause behind the conflict between Tariq and Marvel. It’d be ironic if the director’s decision to walk away ultimately results in a script that he would have been happier to shoot in the first place.

Blade is part of an ambitious schedule of upcoming Marvel movies. Keep track of all upcoming superhero movies with our superhero movie schedule.

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Graeme McMillan

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Popverse staff writer 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.