Dear Marvel: Stop Overthinking the Blade Reboot

Blade has lost another director as Marvel works to “get it right.”

Three men in black combat gear and sunglasses, holding futuristic weapons, stand in a dimly lit indu...
20th Century Studios

At this point, is another Blade movie even worth it?

It’s been five years since Marvel announced plans to bring Blade into its cinematic universe. Mahershala Ali felt like the perfect actor to update the vampire hunter for a new era, and Marvel found a promising new director in Bassam Tariq. But the intervening years haven’t done much to instill confidence in Blade. With several behind-the-scenes shake-ups, including the loss of Tariq and a handful of screenwriters, its 2025 release date is looking less doable by the day.

Now Blade has hit yet another snag. Yann Demange, the director who succeeded Tariq, has also parted ways with Marvel. This update comes via The Wrap, and though Demange’s departure was “entirely amicable,” it casts yet another shadow over an already-trouble production.

The issues plaguing Blade have been well-publicized, as the film has become the de facto problem child of Marvel’s studio-wide retooling. By the time Tariq left in 2022, the script had undergone several rewrites. Stacy Osei-Kuffour (of HBO’s Watchmen), Beau De Mayo (the former showrunner of X-Men ‘97), Nic Pizzolatto (True Detective), and Michael Green (Logan) are just a few of the screenwriters who have contributed to the film. Eric Pearson (a Marvel veteran who’s worked on Thor: Ragnarok, Black Widow, Thunderbolts, and Fantastic Four) is now working on the latest version of the script.

Lovecraft Country’s Yann Demange felt like a great candidate for Blade, but his departure sends Marvel back to the drawing board.

Scott Garfield/Sony Pictures

According to an insider, Marvel is more concerned with the quality of Blade than with its release date. “The Blade movies were deeply important to the Marvel brand back in the late 1990s/early 2000s,” writes The Wrap. “[T]he team feels an incredible amount of responsibility and pressure to crack the character and story.”

The original Blade trilogy is famous among Marvel fans. Marvel does have to contend with the legacy of Wesley Snipes’ Daywalker; apart from Spider-Man and the Hulk, few MCU heroes have faced pressure to set themselves apart. It’s good that Marvel wants to get Blade right, but is the idea of a half-human vampire hunter really that difficult to crack?

Perhaps the studio is thinking way too hard about its approach. But Blade’s story doesn’t have to be that intricate, and the comics have plenty of lore to fall back on. He couldn’t be simpler as a character, especially with a double Oscar-winning actor on board to portray him. Given Marvel’s newfound emphasis on quality over quantity — and Blade’s $100 million budget, a modest sum compared to most MCU films — it’d be wise not to overcomplicate things. This is now the first Marvel movie to shed two directors, and it’s developing a reputation that could be hard to shed.

The MCU hasn’t been the same since Endgame’s 2019 release, and the studio clearly needs a win. That said, trying to force Blade into that win isn’t the way to go. It doesn’t need to be a prestige project or even the next Black Panther. It just needs to show us the lead character fighting vampires.

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