Say what you will about Marvel and its cinematic universe: even when it’s down, it’s not entirely out for the count. The franchise’s recent output has boasted an unprecedented string of disappointments. Still, not all hope is lost, especially as Marvel seems to be earnestly workshopping a new way forward. A lot of that rests on Blade, the long-gestating reboot that will bring Marvel’s resident vampire hunter back to the big screen.
It’s been four years since the project was first announced at San Diego Comic-Con, though Marvel’s recent attempts to kickstart production haven’t been nearly as fruitful as anyone expected it to be. Variety recently reported on Blade’s beleaguered development process, culminating in the departure of its first director and five different screenwriters. Mahershala Ali, the actor attached to the titular role since 2019, nearly walked away from the project as well, according to the trade. But Variety’s bombshell piece also mentioned a solution, which includes a revised budget of $100 million, a new director, and a new screenwriter.
Whether that will be enough to keep the project afloat remains to be seen, but things seem to be going well so far — at least for Ali, who recently shared an update on Blade’s recent progress. In a recent interview with Entertaiment Weekly, the Oscar-winning actor admitted that he felt “sincerely encouraged” by Blade’s renewed direction. Though he couldn’t offer specific details on the film, what he did share seemed promising enough. “We’re working on it. That’s the best I could tell you,” Ali said. “I’m really encouraged with the direction of the project. I think we’ll be back at it relatively soon.”
Blade’s new creative team is no stranger to pulpy, supernatural fare: Lovecraft Country director Yann Demange was tapped to helm the film after the departure of Bassam Tariq. A new script, meanwhile, is being penned by Logan scribe Michael Green. The 2017 film managed to bring real prestige to the superhero genre; while Blade doesn’t necessarily have to do the same, it can’t hurt to have a Logan alum in the ranks.
Per Variety, previous versions of the Blade script had “morphed into a narrative led by women and filled with life lessons,” while the title character was pushed back to fourth lead. Ali was allegedly prepared to part ways with the project over script issues. The actor didn’t address that rumor in his conversation with EW, but he seems pretty happy with this new director and writer either way.
“I’m sincerely encouraged in terms of where things are at and who’s on board and who’s leading the way as far as the writing of the script and the directing and all that,” he continued. This update could produce real results for Blade: with its 2025 release date getting closer and closer, timing is more crucial than ever. Hopefully production can resume in time to meet Marvel’s new deadline, and fans won’t have to wait another four years for another Blade update.