It's been more than three years since Marvel Studios announced plans for a new Blade film, with Oscar winner Ali taking on the title role as everyone's favorite half-human, half-vampire vigilante. The film was initially scheduled to start shooting this fall, but original director Bassam Tariq departed the project in September, just a few months before filming was supposed to begin. Now EW has learned that Blade has found a new director: Lovecraft Country helmer Yann Demange.
The Parisian-born Demange is known for directing thrillers like '71 and White Boy Rick, and he most recently directed the pilot episode of HBO's Lovecraft Country, starring Jurnee Smollett and Jonathan Majors. Demange also served as an executive producer on the series.
Dave Benett/Getty Images Yann Demange
After Tariq's departure, Marvel pressed pause on Blade to focus on getting the story right and finding the right filmmaking team. The studio found its new director in Demange, who'll direct from a new script by Michael Starrbury (an Emmy nominee known for his work on Ava DuVernay's When They See Us). Production is expected to start in Atlanta next year, with Blade now hitting theaters Sept. 6, 2024.
Blade was originally supposed to hit theaters in 2023, putting it smack in the middle of Marvel's Phase 5 plans. It remains to be seen whether Blade will still be considered a Phase 5 movie, or whether its new release date will push it into Phase 6.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has made occasional forays into the horror genre, particularly with this year's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Werewolf by Night. But the new Blade movie is said to be much darker and grittier than anything Marvel has tackled before. Ali has yet to make his onscreen debut as Blade, though his voice has been be heard in the MCU: In one of the end-credits scenes for Eternals, he speaks to Kit Harington's Dane Whitman.
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