According to recent reports, Marvel Studios has changed a sizable portion of their 2018 release schedule, moving the dates of five confirmed films and delaying the release of one undisclosed film. The movies being moved include some huge ones like Fantastic Four and Avengers: Secret Wars, but the whole affair seemed to start with the studio's revival of Blade being blasted out of its November 2023 slot all the way to September 2024 because any MCU adjustments tend to have a domino effect.
That was brought on by the director Bassim Tariq's resignation from the project less than two months before filming was supposed to begin, as well as rumors that the screenplay for the movie required a lot of work. Blade, which was initially introduced in July 2019 when star Mahershala Ali entered the stage with a headgear displaying the title of the film, is undoubtedly having some trouble at the moment.
We'd want to present a dozen viable candidates for director as the first priority in order to right the ship and restart pre-production. Since we'd like to see the new Blade heavily rely on the MCU's rapidly growing horror wing—with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Werewolf by Night leading the charge—this list should hopefully reflect a variety of both new and seasoned talent in that genre in addition to the usual amount of diversity. Take a look and decide.
Guillermo del Toro
As with getting Sam Raimi to helm Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Kevin Feige and Marvel would score a big victory by landing the great maestro of contemporary dark fantasy filmmaking, but it would also return GDT to one of his early victories. The second and generally regarded as the greatest film in the original trilogy, Blade II (2002), directed by Del Toro, starred Wesley Snipes as the Daywalker. Del Toro would relish the opportunity to leave his stamp on the MCU with a character he can reinvent anyway he sees fit, even though he has moved on to other thematic themes with his more recent works like Nightmare Alley. Additionally, it may revive interest in a failing movie.
J.D. is still one of our favorite people. Sleight, Dillard's 2016 feature film debut, starred a superb Jacob Latimore as a youthful street magician who also transforms himself into a handmade superhero. Dillard then published Sweetheart, a terrifying story about Kiersey Clemons becoming stuck on an island with a human-like sea monster. His upcoming movie, Devotion, is a war drama, but his recent work, such directing episodes of The Twilight Zone and The Outsider, shows that he has a strong affinity for the occult, which would make him a suitable candidate for Blade.
DaCosta made Marvel history when she was hired as the studio's first Black female director and youngest director. She's now wrapping on The Marvels, a movie that will be released in July of next year. While that movie will undoubtedly have a more cosmic aesthetic than something like Blade, DaCosta has also shown that she is adept at making scary movies. She directed the underappreciated 2021 Candyman sequel, and Blade might fit perfectly in that movie if she decides to stay in the MCU for a while.
Justin Benson/Aaron Moorehead
Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead, known for their low-budget horror films that they write, produce, direct, and frequently appear in, have just joined the Marvel family to direct two episodes of Moon Knight before being invited to lead the writing and directing teams for Loki's second season. They've obviously made an impression on someone at Marvel, and they have a diverse range of experience thanks to their work in atmospheric horror (The Endless) and even sci-fi (Synchronic).
Natalie Erika James
Relic, a deeply unsettling horror film about three generations of women coping with age, death, and memory loss through a horrifying otherworldly lens, marks the feature debut of Japanese-Australian writer-director Natalie Erika James. She is now in production on Apartment 7A, a very clandestine movie that is said to be a (sigh) prequel to Rosemary's Baby, as well as another unique horror movie she has been working on called Drum Wave. James' talents in directing Blade would be her attention to tone, mood, and character, especially if the film leans more toward horror than straightforward superhero action.
Werewolf by Night, Marvel's Halloween special, featured a well-received recreation of the style and feel of vintage Universal and Hammer horror films by renowned composer-turned-director Werewolf by Night, who might easily transition to a bigger, more ambitious, but still horror-themed project like Blade. He's already a member of the family, he's brought Marvel villains like Werewolf by Night and Man-Thing into the MCU, and we have no doubt that he's anxious to demonstrate his directorial abilities once again.
This Welsh director is most known for his two breathtaking Indonesian action thrillers, The Raid (2011) and The Raid 2 (2014), but he also made Apostle for Netflix in 2018. Apostle is a really dark, though not fully logical, folk horror movie. He's returning with a dark criminal thriller starring Tom Hardy called Havoc on the streaming service. Evans is the master of action and battle scenes, and his movies almost ooze with ambiance. He was one of several directors who tried their hand at making Justice League Dark for DC Films, along with GDT and others, so he would not be opposed to acting in a comic book setting.
The Blumhouse-produced Welcome to the Blumhouse series of movies, which were made available on Prime Video, have undoubtedly been a mixed bag, but they have undoubtedly given a lot of aspiring directors a platform on which to perfect their skills. One of them is Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, whose sci-fi/horror hybrid Black Box had some astounding visuals and a strong lead performance from Mamoudou Athie despite being a mixed success. Osei-Kuffour recently directed an episode of Mike Flanagan's The Midnight Club, and his sensibilities—he lived and worked in Japan for some years—might add some new wrinkles to the Blade narrative.
His House by Remi Weekes, a chilling tale of a South Sudanese refugee couple attempting to survive their relocation to an English town and an evil presence that may have followed them from their home country, was one of the most terrifying horror films to come out of the Netflix pipeline in a long time. The taut, current, and disturbing film immediately established Weekes as a talent to watch. Strangely, he hasn't made any announcements about projects since then, so this may be the ideal moment for Marvel to sign him and give him free rein in the vampire hunter universe.
2014 saw the release of Honeymoon, Leigh Janiak's debut film, a subdued thriller featuring Rose Leslie from Game of Thrones. She had been working on a remake of The Craft for a long, but she ultimately chose to direct and co-write the three parts of the popular Fear Street trilogy on Netflix, which is based on R.L. Best-selling YA horror book series by Stine. While it's obvious that Janiak is at ease in the horror genre, she may want to mix that with the bigger canvas of working in the MCU. The trilogy of films was undoubtedly the most ambitious thing Janiak has ever done.
Leigh Whannell has established himself as a key voice in the mainstream end of the horror genre. He is the co-creator of the Saw and Insidious franchises, on which he has handled scripting and (on the latter) directorial duties. In his earlier critically praised films, Upgrade and The Invisible Man, Whannell explored sci-fi and action genres while keeping a strong character emphasis and philosophical undertone. We'd like to think that Whannell's work on Blade in the MCU would be the more interesting superhero opportunity for him, despite the fact that he's lately been associated with a (in our opinion) worthless Green Hornet remake.
Convincing Peele to helm an MCU film is definitely a long shot, much like getting Guillermo del Toro to do so, considering the Get Out and Nope writer-frequent director's declarations of ambition to continue developing his own original content. But would it be detrimental for Feige to contact Peele anyhow? Peele could find the concept of making a movie about one of Marvel's most well-known horror and Black characters enticing since it would let him to venture out and spend some time in a different realm. He has previously shown that he is capable of writing epic tales, if that is what is needed, and his consistently captivating manner of fusing biting social criticism with genre thrills might bring a completely new layer to the Daywalker's comeback.