After several behind-the-scene changes that eventually led to the project being placed on hold, Marvel Studio‘s upcoming Blade starring Mahershala Ali has started to once again find its footing. Following the announcement that Lovecraft Country director Yann Demange would be joining the film as its new director, the film reentered development, and now—thanks to a new interview with Kevin Feige—we know that the film is set to begin filming in Atlanta in a few weeks time this summer.
Feige sat down with Entertainment Weekly and went in depth about the recently wrapped up Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the just starting Phase 5, and the future of the massive multi-media juggernaut. During this interview, the question was posed of how Blade was moving along since it is still scheduled to release next year on September 6, 2024. Feige gave an optimistic answer as he said that Demange was on location in Atlanta, Georgia as they spoke and that cameras were set to roll soon. “It’s going well. Our director Yann [Demange] is down in Atlanta right now. Cameras roll in, like, the next 10 weeks or so,” said Feige
The Troubled Development of Blade
The development of the upcoming film starring Marvel‘s premiere vampire hunter was first announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 and was originally set to be directed by Bassam Tariq. It was announced that Tariq would be stepping away from the film due to “continued shifts in the production schedule.” It was announced not too long after in October 2022 that the entire project, which was set to begin shooting in November, had been fully put on hold. The announcement of Demange joining the project as its director in November 2022 coincided with the announcement that Emmy-nominated screenwriter Michael Starrbury (When They See Us), would be penning a new screenplay for the film, replacing Beau DeMayo who was originally brought on to replace Stacy Osei-Kuffour. The movie is also set to star Delroy Lindo (The Good Fight) and Aaron Pierre (Old). Tariq is still attached to the project as an executive producer.
The long and issue-laden production of Blade that led to the project’s official pause upon Tariq‘s departure had a ripple effect through the rest of the MCU, with several other upcoming projects having release date changes back in the middle of October along with the Blade postponement. These changes include the MCU debut of the Merc with the Mouth with Deadpool 3 starring Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman, the latter of which will be returning to his iconic role of Wolverine, being pushed back from September 6, 2024, the spot now occupied by Blade, to November 8, 2024. This then led to a delay for the new Fantastic Four film from WandaVision helmer Matt Shakman. With its original release date of November 8, 2024, now being taken by Deadpool 3, the film will now premiere on February 14, 2025. Finally, the Multiverse Saga’s culmination, Avengers: Secret Wars, was also moved from November 7, 2025, to May 1, 2026.
Blade is currently scheduled to release on September 6, 2024. Stay tuned to Collider for future developments on the project and other news from the MCU.