After an abrupt departure, former Blade director Bassam Tariq offered kind words for his newly hired replacement Yann Demange.
At the Marvel Studios San Diego Comic-Con panel in 2019, one of Kevin Feige's most exciting announcements was that Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali would be starring in a new Blade movie.
Since that announcement was made over three years ago, pre-production has been rocky, especially considering Marvel's standards.
Near the end of September, Blade lost its first director (Bassam Tariq) just a week before shooting was supposed to begin. Due to the sudden change and the studio taking a step back entirely, Blade was delayed a year to September 6, 2024.
After going back to the drawing board, Yann Demange (Lovecraft Country) was hired as the new director. This clean slate was also met with the news that Michael Starrbury (When They See Us) will rewrite a brand new script for the project.
Blade Director Bassam Tariq Congratulates Replacement
Previous Blade director Bassam Tariq took to Instagram to share his thoughts on Marvel Studios hiring Yann Demange to helm the bloody project.
Tariq called Demange "a cherished friend and brother" and that promised that everyone is "in for a real treat" from the movie.
The full statement goes as follows:
The news is finally out: my dear brother Yann Mounir Demange is directing Blade! Y’all are in for a real treat.
Yann was instrumental in giving me the courage to start developing MOGUL MOWGLI. He played a pivotal role during post as well, helping Riz, my editor (Adam Biskupski) and myself get the film across the finish line. During that time and during the pandemic, Yann became a cherished friend and brother. I couldn’t be happier for him.
As he steps into this role, I am proud to support him as he has supported me.
Blade Development Levels Out
It's become clear as time has progressed that there has never been a clear plan for bringing Blade into the MCU, besides Mahershala Ali playing Eric Brooks.
While the idea got fans' attention, there's reason to be worried about the quality of this film. A full-blown reset for the project isn't a promising sign, but audiences can still put their faith in Marvel CCO Kevin Feige and hope for the best.
The aspect of Blade that should help fans not hit the panic button is the idea that this will be a prequel-style MCU film akin to Captain America: The First Avenger or Captain Marvel.
However, Ali's Blade made his off-screen debut during the post-credit scene of Eternals, which takes place in the present-day MCU.
In terms of production, the project is planning to film in 2023 and will have plenty of time now to redirect how they want to introduce Blade into the MCU.
The seal of approval from Tariq to Demange is a good sign of stability with the project. It also ought to prevent fans from thinking that Tariq left the project on bad terms with Disney and Marvel.
Tariq is still slated to earn Executive Producer credits on Blade when it opens in theaters on September 6, 2024.