Exclusive: Details On Blade Director’s Reasons For Leaving And It’s Bad

Blade director Bassam Tariq left the film due to conflict with Mahershala Ali and issue with the script.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

The news that Blade director Bassam Tariq has dropped out of the highly anticipated Marvel project is only hours old, and it is already one of the biggest stories in comic book adaptations. While it has not been publicly stated, allegedly the former Blade director left the film because he had repeated arguments with star Mahershala Ali about the script. According to our trusted and proven sources, Bassam Tariq kept attempting to add elements to the script that Mahershala Ali did not approve of, which left the actor very upset and the former Blade director leaving the project.

The official word from Marvel Studios is that Bassam Tariq has resigned from the position of Blade director because the scheduling changes that have been thrown at the film made him unavailable. Blade is set to begin primary filming in only a couple months, so losing the director at this point is not only shocking, it must be logistically overwhelming. It is not at all uncommon for high-budget, extremely prominent blockbuster movies to be continually rescheduled or even dropped from release schedules entirely without losing directors, so Marvel’s reasoning here is perhaps a little thin. 

blade director

Bassam Tariq has expressed his well-wishes for the film and for the next Blade director, and is still attached to the film as an executive producer. We certainly hope there is no bad blood between Bassam Tariq, Mahershala Ali, or Marvel Studios, and it makes logical sense that he would not try to burn a bridge here. The function of an “executive producer” on a film can mean anything from active participation on a movie to an honorary title contractually given, so it is a likely guess which of those Bassam Tariq might be at this point.

Before coming on board Blade as director, Bassam Tariq was best known for directing the film Mogul Mowgli, which starred Riz Ahmed (best known for Venom, Star Wars, and Nightcrawler). Helming a large-scale film like Blade would have been an enormous step for a filmmaker, but it is undoubtedly a very different process to deal with the demands of Disney, Marvel Studios executives, and the increasingly complicated, evolving storylines of the Marvel Cinematic Universe than to make a small-scale drama. 

It is worth stating that the Blade director stepping down is by no means the first time that Marvel has unexpectedly lost a director. After directing the first Doctor Strange movie, Scott Derrickson was set to helm the sequel, but left only four months before Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was set to begin filming, and was replaced by Sam Raimi. Spider-Man: No Way Home’s Jon Watts was announced as the director of Fantastic Four, but bowed out and was replaced by Matt Shakman. These are only the instances that we know about, but likely it happens more often than we think. 

As of right now, the Blade movie starring Mahershala Ali as the half-human/half-undead vampire hunter is still scheduled to be released in September of 2023. We shall have to see whether this new change causes another schedule shift.