Marvel’s Blade Reboot Has Hit Yet Another Setback, And I’m Getting Worried We’ll Never See Mahershala Ali Kill Vampires

 Mahershala Ali as sunglasses-wearing Vector in Alita: Battle Angel.
Credit: 20th Century Studios

It’s been nearly five full years since Mahershala Ali was announced to be playing Blade at San Diego Comic-Con, and yet we’re still waiting for him to make his onscreen Marvel Cinematic Universe debut following his voice cameo in Eternals. Although Blade is still rests in the Phase Six slate of upcoming Marvel movies, the project has suffered numerous setbacks over the years. Now yet another one has been revealed, and it’s getting to the point where I’m worried we’ll never see Ali’s version of Eric Brooks kill vampires.

The latest update on Blade’s progress comes from The Wrap, which reports that director Yann Demange has departed the reboot. The outlet states that his exit happened “a while ago” and that it was “entirely amicable.” An unnamed insider also said that “getting Blade right is much more important than getting the film out.” Demange, who boarded Blade in November 2022, is the second director to leave the project, with Bassam Tariq having previously bailed in September of that same year.

On the one hand, it’s good that that Blade isn’t being rushed out, with Marvel Studios giving writer Eric Pearson enough time to make his screenplay the best product possible. On the other hand, it’s somewhat baffling to me that there have been so many obstacles to getting this reboot off the ground. After all, Blade already showed off his cinematic chops when Wesley Snipes portrayed the character from 1998 to 2004. Why is it so difficult to get an MCU-set Blade off the ground?

To be clear, I’m not writing off Blade completely, but I can’t help wondering if this project might be scrapped one day. It wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened, as Inhumans was originally supposed to be a movie following what we now know as Avengers: Endgame, but then it was reconfigured into the critically-panned ABC series that only lasted one season. Unlike Inhumans though, Blade has at least already been partially set up thanks to the aforementioned presence in Eternals. Still, maybe there’s a scenario where Marvel Studios abandons its plans to highlight the vampire hunter on the big screen.

It’s also worth mentioning that last month, Mahershala Ali was reportedly being lined up to star in Jurassic World 4, which is supposed to begin filming in London any day now. So assuming a deal was reached between Ali and Universal Pictures, that already prevents Blade from being a summer shoot, as was previously the plan. Depending on how fast a director is found to replace Yann Deamange, maybe there’s a chance Blade could roll cameras in the fall instead and still be ready in time for its November 7, 2025 release date. But again, Marvel doesn’t want to rush the creative process, so a delay to 2026 seems more likely.

We’ll let you know who takes over Blade directorial duties once that information is announced/reported. Meanwhile, the majority of the Marvel movies in order and MCU TV shows can be streamed with a Disney+ subscription, but unfortunately none of Wesley Snipes’ Blade movies are currently on a streaming platform.