The upcoming Marvel Blade reboot starring Mahershala Ali has lost its director, Bassam Tariq, who decided to quit the film ahead of filming.
Blade is one of the Marvel films that have been in the works for several years. It was finally announced at the San Diego Comic-Con 2019 when Mahershala Ali was officially roped in to play the titular hero.
Blade is one of the darker heroes from the Marvel comics, who was a vampire-hunter born as a half-vampire himself. Mahershala Ali debuted as Blade in the post-credits scene in Eternals when Dane Whitman discovered the Ebony Blade. However, only his voice was heard.
Ali had previously appeared in the MCU through Luke Cage, but he personally reached out to Kevin Feige and expressed interest in portraying Blade in the franchise. Marvel Studios did not fix a release date in 2019, and the film was consequently delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In July 2021, Bassam Tariq was roped in to direct the film. He had previously directed Mogul Mowgli with Riz Ahmed. Plot details were kept under wraps, but Tariq spoke in various interviews about how excited he was to work on the film.
According to earlier reports, filming for Blade was slated to begin in November 2022 but Marvel Studios had run into a production issue. Now, The Hollywood Reporter reports that Tariq has walked out of the film due to “continued shifts” in the production schedule. However, he will continue to stay as an executive producer.
Marvel Studios and Bassam Tariq gave the following statements confirming the same:
MARVEL STUDIOS: “Due to continued shifts in our production schedule, Bassam is no longer moving forward as director of Blade but will remain an executive producer on the film. We appreciate Bassam’s talent and all the work he’s done getting Blade to where it is.”
TARIQ: “Its been an honor working with the wonderful folks at Marvel. We were able to put together a killer cast and crew. Eager to see where the next director takes the film.”
Though Marvel Studios has already begun the search for a new director, it remains to be seen if the studios will be forced to delay the project. Previously, Fantastic Four had faced the same problem regarding losing a director.
Jon Watts, best known for directing Tom Holland’s Spider-Man series, was initially roped in to direct Fantastic Four. But he stepped down because he wanted a break from superhero movies. Matt Shakman was then hired to take his place. However, the project still faced its fair share of delays, which could now happen to Blade as well.
However, it does not take much time for reputed studios to find new directors. Since the script for Blade is already done and most of the cast has been finalized, production may still begin in November. In that case, Blade would be able to stick to its late-2023 release date.
Hopefully, it won’t be long before Marvel Studios officially announces Blade’s new director. As of now, Blade is supposed to release in theaters on November 3, 2022.
About Blade Reboot
Blade is an upcoming superhero film, based on the Marvel Comics superhero of the same name. It will be an installment of Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
At San Diego Comic-Con 2019, it was announced that Mahershala Ali would play the title character. Osei-Kuffour has been tapped to pen the film’s script.
Known as one of Marvel Comics’ darker heroes, Blade follows the story of the vampire hunter, who was born half-vampire himself.