Marvel Seeking Black Filmmaker To Direct ‘Blade’ Reboot

Production for the long-anticipated remake starring Mahershala Ali begins in 2022.

wesley-snipes-blade-promo
Marvel/New Line Cinema

Before the coronavirus pandemic, we learned that Marvel was planning to reboot Blade with Oscar winner Mahershala Ali in the title role. 

News about the project has been almost nonexistent, but it’s apparently still going forward, and Marvel has some specific goals in mind when it comes to who gets to make the film.

In an article titled “Behind Warner Bros.’ Search for a Black Superman,” The Hollywood Reporter (THR) writes that “insiders say Warners and DC are committed to hiring a Black director to tackle what will be the first cinematic incarnation of Superman featuring a Black actor, with one source adding that putting Abrams at the helm would be ‘tone-deaf.'”

Turns out Warner and DC have some competition, reports THR, as “Marvel is on the hunt for a Blade helmer and is combing through the same list” of Black filmmakers.

THR goes on to offer some suggestions for both studios:

But the question will come down to what kind of filmmaker Bad Robot and Warners want: an up-and-comer who can be backed by Abrams, who knows his way around tentpoles and franchises? Or an established filmmaker like a Barry Jenkins or a Ryan Coogler?

The former list can include Creed II’s Steven Caple Jr., J.D. Dillard, Regina King — who got raves for her drama One Night in Miami — and Shaka King, who is popular at Warners thanks to best picture Oscar nominee Judas and the Black Messiah. 

So even though it was left out of Marvel’s three-minute video announcing premiere dates for 10 movies through 2023Blade is definitely still happening, but Marvel wants the right combination of minds behind the production. 

For anyone who’d like additional confirmation, Marvel boss Kevin Feige provided that in an appearance on Disney’s Investor Day in 2020, affirming that Blade is definitely “moving ahead.”

It’s not like the studio is ready to rush anything, either — Blade was originally set to begin production in September 2021, according to THR, but that date has now been pushed to July 2022. 

In the meantime, Marvel has us covered with superhero movies no matter what: the next premiere will be Black Widow, which hits theaters everywhere on July 9, 2021.

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Deputy Digital Editor, Maxim.com