What is going on with Marvel's Blade movie? Second director departure, MCU film's multiple delays, and more explained

Mahershala Ali and Kevin Feige pose for photographs at Comic-Con 2019
Marvel's Blade movie reboot has continually been beset by issues since its July 2019 announcement. (Image credit: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

Well, we're back here again, folks. Marvel's troubled Blade movie reboot is back in the spotlight for all of the wrong reasons – and the latest news surrounding the superhero flick doesn't make for encouraging reading.

Over the past few days, numerous new reports have emerged about the Marvel Phase 5 film's protracted development. Indeed, from the departure of its second director to exasperated comments from the lawyer of Mahershala Ali – who's still expected to star as the titular vampiric antihero – there's plenty to catch up on.

Here's a full rundown of everything you might have missed about the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie that can't escape its developmental purgatory.

1. Marvel's Blade film loses another director

Yann Demange poses for a photograph at the press junket for Dammi

Dammi and Lovecraft Country filmmaker Yann Demange is no longer involved with Blade (Image credit: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

Blade's latest round of issues began on June 12, when multiple outlets, including Variety, revealed that Yann Demange was no longer set to direct the film. Demange, who assumed filmmaking duties after Blade's former director Bassam Tariq's departure in September 2022, is said to have amicably parted ways with Marvel Studios weeks earlier. No reason has been given for Demange leaving the project.

It's unclear when Marvel's search for another individual to helm one of its most anticipated new movies will end. With the film still expected to debut in theaters in November 2025, the Disney subsidiary will need to move quickly to secure a director if it hopes to get principal photography underway as soon as possible.

If a new filmmaker can't be found soon, Marvel will have no choice but to delay Blade once more. It's already been delayed twice – first, in October 2022 when Marvel delayed multiple movies after Blade's initial issues caused a release schedule rejig, and then last June when Marvel pushed back its entire MCU movie lineup due to the 2023 Hollywood strikes. Considering that Blade was announced almost five years ago at Comic-Con 2019, it could be seven or eight years (i.e. 2026 or 2027) before the Daywalker's last big-screen adventure *ahem* sees the light of day.

2. Taking a stab at Marvel's Blade movie's script

A zoomed out shot of Marvel actors and creators on stage during Marvel's Comic Con 2019 panel in Hall H

The script for Blade's MCU film has been tackled by multiple writers (Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Even if Marvel quickly finds a new director, there's no guarantee that it'll be ready to meet Blade's pencilled-in release date. As Variety and The Hollywood Reporter (THR) claim, Eric Pearson is the latest incumbent to sink his teeth into the film's script in an attempt to breathe new life into it.

Viewed as a safe pair of hands who's overseen rewrites on other MCU films, including Thor: Ragnarok, Black Widow, and Marvel's forthcoming The Fantastic 4 film reboot, Pearson is the sixth (!) writer to punch up its screenplay. In light of Demange's departure and Pearson's onboarding to remedy the script, it seems inevitable that Blade won't start shooting in time to meet its current theatrical launch date.

3. Potential bad blood developing behind the scenes

Marvel boss Kevin Feige and Blade actor Mahershala Ali take the applause during Marvel's Hall H panel at 2019's Comic Con

Mahershala Ali's (center) lawyer has spoken out about how long it's taking for Blade to get made (Image credit: Alberto E Rodriguez/Getty Images)

With the five-year anniversary of Blade's announcement fast approaching – a wild milestone in its own right – it's not surprising that more and more fans are becoming increasingly concerned that Ali will walk away from the project. 

For what it's worth, Ali last commented on the film in December 2023, telling Entertainment Weekly he was "sincerely encouraged" by how development was progressing. That, though, was when Demange and Michael Green (Logan, Alien: Covenant) – the movie's fifth writer – were still involved, so I suspect this latest round of setbacks won't be music to his ears.

As a studio, Marvel rarely airs its dirty laundry in public, but it seems that some cracks are starting to emerge after one member of Ali's team spoke out regarding the long-gestating movie. Speaking to THR, Ali's attorney Shelby Weiser appeared to take a thinly veiled swipe at how long it's taking for the movie to escape its hellish development cycle, saying: "That deal was in 2019, and they still haven’t shot it, which is pretty much the craziest thing in my professional experience."

4. A humorous snipe akin to a stake through the heart

It isn't just those with close ties to Ali and/or Marvel who've been baffled by Blade's strung out development. Taking to X/Twitter (see above), Wesley Snipes, who played Blade in the character's original movie trilogy, took an amusing swipe at the reboot's never-ending issues.

"Blade, lordylordylordy," Snipes wrote. "Folks still lookin[g] for that secret sauce, ridin[g] snowmobiles in traffic, kinda rough. Daywalkers make it look easy, dont [sic] they?"

Snipes' tweet will likely be taken at face value – i.e. as nothing more than a light bit of ribbing – by those involved in 2025's Blade. Nevertheless, it's not a good look if the franchise's first live-action star is taking pop shots at one of Marvel's most exciting upcoming films. Let's hope this is the last round of headache-inducing problems it'll be afflicted by.

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Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across. Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.