Marvel’s ‘Blade’ Loses Director Yann Demange | Exclusive

Yann Demange is no longer directing Marvel Studios “Blade,” The Wrap has exclusively learned.

The parting with the French-Algerian filmmaker actually happened a while ago and was entirely amicable. Demange, best known to date for directing on acclaimed television series “Lovecraft Country” and “Top Boy,” was the second director to part the project after replacing Bassam Tariq (“Mogul Mowgli”).

Marvel veteran writer Eric Pearson, who most recently worked on “Fantastic Four,” is currently working on the “Blade” script. Michael Starrbury, Nic Pizzolatto and Michael Green wrote previous drafts of the script.

Mahershala Ali is still attached to star as the half-human vampire hunter. Ali is currently in talks with Universal and Amblin to join the next “Jurassic World” film.

According to an insider with knowledge, getting “Blade” right is much more important than getting the film out. The pressure to produce as much content as possible has been lifted and the studio is now looking to release just two films per year, which gives the team at Marvel Studios some breathing room.

The studio’s next four films: “Deadpool & Wolverine,” “Captain America: Brave New World,” “Thunderbolts*” and “Fantastic Four” are almost done or well underway.

“Blade” has had several setbacks since first being announced at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, and now, more than ever, Marvel does not want to rush something into production that isn’t ready. The “Blade” movies were deeply important to the Marvel brand back in the late 1990s/early 2000s and the team feels an incredible amount of responsibility and pressure to crack the character and story.

When Stephen Norrington’s “Blade” debuted in 1998, it was mostly sold and generally embraced (good reviews, solid buzz and $131 million worldwide on a $45 million budget) as an R-rated, martial-arts infused Wesley Snipes vehicle that just happened to be based on a Marvel comic book. While the film is credited with being Marvel’s first major theatrical success (following whiffs like “The Punisher” in 1989 and “Howard the Duck” in 1986), it was positioned as a star-driven genre movie first and a comic book adaptation second.

It spawned two sequels, Guillermo del Toro’s well-received “Blade II” ($155 million on a $55 million budget weeks before Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” swung into the record books in 2002) and David Goyer’s less-beloved “Blade: Trinity” ($132 million on a $62 million budget) in 2004. A loosely connected one-season TV show starring Kirk Jones as Blade ran on SpikeTV in 2006.

Created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist Gene Colan, “Blade” first appeared in Marvel Comics as a supporting character in 1973 and starred in his own title shortly thereafter.

“Blade” is still set to be released on Nov. 7, 2025.

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