Marvel Studios’ Blade is being released again, this time with a brand new creative team.
Yann Demange, who directed the pilot for HBO’s transgressive horror series Lovecraft Countryhas come on board to helm the vampire action thriller that still has Mahershala Ali attached to star.
Meanwhile, Michael Starrbury, who earned an Emmy nomination for writing an episode of Ava DuVernay’s drama, When they see ushas been hired to write a brand new script for the feature.
The new team is putting the project back on track after losing its original director, Bassam Tariq (Mogul Mowgli) in September. The parting of the ways was due to creative differences and occurred suddenly when the project was in pre-production and headed for a production start in Atlanta in November.
Instead of putting another director on something that clearly needed an overhaul, Marvel hit pause for a deeper look under the hood. This meant a Page 1 rewrite for the project, which had been working in the screenwriting phase. Ali was personally involved in the selection of the author, according to sources.
Details are being kept under wraps, but sources say the new intention is for Blade to be dark and gritty in tone, falling on the edgier side of Marvel fare and perhaps even finding common ground with the fondly remembered Blade film made in the early 2000s by New Line.
The plan is to go into production in Atlanta in 2023, it is maintained Blades release date set for September 6, 2024
Blade was created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist Gene Colan in the 1973s Dracula’s Tomb No. 10. He is a half-mortal, half-immortal who hunts vampires to avenge his mother, who was killed by a vampire when she gave birth to him. Wesley Snipes previously played the character in the New Line trilogy.
Demange is a French-born, London-raised director who started in television before moving on to feature dramatic thrillers ’71 and White Boy Rick. His work on Lovecraft Country set the dark and brooding tone for the series, which tackled racial themes as well as a variety of horror scares, while also providing a platform for stars Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett to stomp to stardom. He is currently developing a sequel to David Cronenberg’s seminal horror film, Scanners, for HBO, which he will direct and executive produce. He is repped by CAA and Goodman Genow.
Starrbury, who wrote the coming of age drama Mister & Pete’s inevitable defeathave The Come Up in pre-production with Lil Rel Howery set to star. He is repped by CAA, Circle of Confusion and attorney Sue Rogers.