The “Lovecraft Country” and “White Boy Rick” director takes the reins of the vampire slayer movie from Bassam Tariq, who exited the production in September. He will direct from a brand new script by Emmy nominee Michael Starrbury, which is said to be “darker than most MCU movies.”
After Tariq’s departure from the project, which was set to begin production in November, Marvel Studios focused on revamping the story and putting the right team in place, ultimately entering negotiations with Demange. Starrbury also replaces screenwriter Stacy Osei-Kuffour who was originally tapped to write the film’s script.
Last month, Disney delayed “Blade” from its planned Nov. 3, 2023, release date to Sept. 6, 2024, following the production pause. With Demange in place, production on the film, which also stars Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre, is set to resume in Atlanta next year.
Born in Paris and raised in London, Demange built his résumé with TV series including “Dead Set” and “Top Boy” before he segued into feature films like “’71,” as well as “White Boy Rick” and later “Lovecraft Country,” both of which starred new MCU addition Jonathan Majors. (Demange executive produced and directed the pilot episode for the HBO series, co-created by Misha Green.)
In addition to his new Marvel duties with “Blade,” Demange is set to direct and executive produce “Scanners,” the HBO series reboot of the 80s film franchise, and the movie “Dammi” with his production company Wayward, alongside AMI and Vixens.
Ali’s casting was announced in 2019, when the actor (who’d previously played Marvel villain Cornell Stokes a.k.a. Cottonmouth in Netflix’s “Luke Cage”) a surprise appearance at the end of Marvel Studios’ Hall H presentation, and ever since, “Blade” has been one of the most highly-anticipated properties in the MCU. Then, Ali (technically) made his MCU debut during the post-credits scene of 2021’s “Eternals,” when the two-time Oscar winner’s voice can be heard speaking to Kit Harington’s character Dane Whitman off camera. However, fans have been itching to catch their first glimpse of Ali in Blade’s full regalia.
During this year’s Comic-Con presentation in July, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced that “Blade” is set to round out Marvel’s Phase Five, with “Deadpool 3” planned to debut in Nov. 8, 2024, and Phase Six to begin with “Fantastic Four” in 2025.
Demange is repped by CAA, Carlos Goodman and Sue Rodgers.
Marvel’s “Blade” movie follows the New Line CInema franchise, which launched in 1998 with Wesley Snipes starring as the titular sword-wielding half-vampire. The film trilogy is widely credited for presaging the current golden age of superhero cinema, with the movies, all written by David S. Goyer, grossing roughly $418 million globally through 2004. In 2006, Goyer created a TV spin-off starring the rapper Sticky Fingaz, which ran for one season on the defunct basic cable network Spike.