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MCU’s Blade Reboot Loses Director Ahead Of Reported Filming Start

The upcoming Blade reboot with Mahershala Ali has lost its director as Bassam Tariq officially parts ways with the Marvel Studios film.


Director Bassam Tariq has officially parted ways with Marvel Studios’ upcoming Blade reboot. One MCU film that has been in the works for several years is Blade, which was announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 when Mahershala Ali was officially tapped to bring the Marvel hero to life. Known as one of Marvel Comics’ darker heroes, Blade follows the story of the vampire hunter, who was born half-vampire himself. While only his voice was heard, Ali’s Blade debuted in Eternals post-credit scene when Dane Whitman (Kit Harington) discovered the Ebony Blade.

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Prior to the Blade rights reverting back to Marvel Studios, Wesley Snipes had portrayed the iconic superhero in his own trilogy. While Ali had already appeared in the MCU through Luke Cage, he had reached out to Kevin Feige himself and expressed interest in portraying Blade in the ever-growing franchise. The studio didn’t set a release date in 2019, and the project was seemingly delayed due to the global pandemic. Tariq boarded the Blade reboot in July 2021, having previously directed Mogul Mowgli with Riz Ahmed. While plot details have been kept under wraps, Tariq had spoken about working on Blade in previous interviews, emphasizing how excited he was to direct the MCU movie.

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While Blade was set to start shooting in November, the Marvel Studios project has run into a production issue. The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Tariq has stepped down as the director due to “continued shifts” in the production schedule. While he will remain an executive producer on Blade, the search for a new director has begun. Marvel Studios and Tariq shared the following statements:

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.”

Will The MCU’s Blade Be Delayed?

Due to Blade having to tap a new director, it remains to be seen if Marvel Studios will be forced to delay the project. This wouldn’t be the first Marvel reboot to lose a director, as Fantastic Four had the same problem. Spider-Man director Jon Watts was initially going to helm the reboot but ended up departing the film, partially due to wanting a break from superhero properties. While Matt Shakman was then hired to direct Fantastic Four in the wake of Watts’ departure, the reboot did face its own set of delays before landing its 2024 date, which may happen to Blade as well.

While losing a director is significant, it doesn’t always take that long for a studio to find a new filmmaker, sometimes within the span of a few weeks. Since the Blade script was already finished and most of the cast had already been rounded out, production may still go forward in November and perhaps meet its late 2023 release date. It’s possible that Marvel Studios may reach out to previous candidates that they had in mind before Tariq landed the gig, which could also speed things up for the Blade reboot. Hopefully, it won’t be long until Marvel Studios announces Tariq’s Blade replacement as the character gets ready for his first MCU adventure.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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