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Blade star Mahershala Ali wasn't convinced by Marvel Studios' picks for director - so he found one himself

The Luke Cage actor is unusually involved in the film's production

Mahershala Ali in Luke Cage
Image credit: Netflix

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Marvel’s most famous vampire hunter is having a remarkably difficult time making it back to the big screen. Since 2019, the Blade movie reboot has been in various stages of development, with star Mahershala Ali seeming to get more and more frustrated at the endless delays. The Oscar-winning actor is deeply involved in the production, going so far as to weigh in on who replaced the first director of Blade back in 2022.

Ali appears to be taking great care on his return to the MCU, having already played the villainous Cottonmouth in Netflix’s Luke Cage series. When Bassam Tariq stepped down as Blade’s director in 2022, Marvel Studios approached Mahershala Ali with a list of potential directors to replace him. According to a recent report, none of the names supplied by the studio sat well with Ali, who proceeded to conduct his own search focusing on filmmakers with more experience with the kind of blockbuster film Blade could potentially be.

That search eventually turned up Yann Demange, who was attached to direct Blade for nearly two years before he stepped down in June 2024. This leaves Blade once again searching for someone to bring it to the big screen and likely to miss its November 2025 release date. Demange’s version of the film would have been set in the 1920s, but Marvel Studios is reportedly looking to rewrite the script for the modern era before searching for yet another director. We’ll have to wait and see if they take Mahershala Ali’s input into consideration once again or if they’ll pick a safer set of hands to finally see the film to completion.


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