Marvel’s Blade Movie Just Lost Its Director

Blade director Bassam Tariq has left the film due to schedule changes.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

Bassam Tariq has left his position as director of Marvel Studios’ upcoming Blade movie. The movie, which is set for release in late 2023, was preparing to begin filming in Atlanta in November. It is unclear how his departure will affect the production of the vampire action-thriller. Although the filmmaker resigned from helming the project, he will remain attached to the film as an executive producer.

Addressing Tariq’s departure Marvel said, “Due to continued shifts in our production schedule, Bassam is no longer moving forward as director of Blade. But he will remain an executive producer on the film.” In the statement to Deadline, the studio also expressed their appreciation for the director’s talent and all the work he’s done getting the project to where it is.

In his own statement, the filmmaker who was confirmed as the director of Blade in 2021, thanked Marvel for the incredible opportunity. “It’s been an honor working with the wonderful folks at Marvel. We were able to put together a killer cast and crew,” he said via The Hollywood Reporter. Tariq added that he remains eager to see where the next director takes the film.

mahershala ali alita marvel blade

Sadly, Blade has seen its production date change before as the project has undergone multiple script rewrites. Beau DeMayo, who previously worked on shows like Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, The Witcher, and Marvel’s hit series Moon Knight is the current writer. Several reports indicate that the studio is already searching for a new director to lead the highly anticipated film.

Created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan, Blade made his Marvel Comics debut in 1973’s The Tomb of Dracula No. 10. He is a half-mortal, half-immortal who hunts vampires to avenge his mother, who was killed by a vampire when he was born. Wesley Snipes previously portrayed the character in a film trilogy released in the early 2000s. Mahershala Ali will take over as the iconic vampire hunter in the new Marvel movie.

Interestingly, Blade has already made his unofficial Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Eternals. In the film’s second post-credits, Mahershala Ali made his first appearance in a voice cameo. But the scene cuts away just before viewers can see who is behind Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman, essentially setting up the premier vampire hunter’s future in the MCU. Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre have also been cast in the film, but their roles are still unknown.

Although plot details are still largely unknown, an unofficial description has been obtained by multiple media outlets. Much like the source material, the new Blade movie tells the story of a half-mortal, half-immortal who wants to rid the world of vampires to avenge his mother who died at the hands of the monsters when he was born. This storyline was previously explored in the original Wesley Snipes trilogy.

Although Blade has been around since the 1970s, Ali admits that he was introduced to the character through Snipes. Speaking to Variety he explained how, like a lot of people, his knowledge of the Marvel character didn’t go beyond the movies. “Only what I discovered, like everyone else in the late ’90s with Wesley Snipes, you know. And I don’t think I even noticed how I was just accustomed to there not being black superheroes.”