Marvel’s Blade director Bassim Tariq is leaving the film

The revamp is set to star Mahershala Ali in the title role.

Director Bassam Tariq is no longer hanging on to remaster director Marvel’s Blade, about the iconic day-walking vampire starring Mahershala Ali.

The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news Tuesday night that Tariq was parting ways with the project, just two months before production was due to begin in Atlanta in November. The film currently has a Disney and Marvel Studios release date of November 3, 2023. The cast also includes Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre.

“Due to ongoing shifts in our production schedule, Bassam will no longer serve as director of ‘Blade,’ and will remain executive producer on the film,” Marvel said in a statement shared with media. “We appreciate Bassam’s talent and all the work he has done to get Blade to where it is.”

Tariq said, “It’s been an honor to work with the wonderful people at Marvel. We were able to put together a killer cast and crew. I’m excited to see where the next director takes the film.”

The screenplay will be written by Beau DeMayo and has reportedly been rewritten several times.

Tariq, whose last film was Mogul Mowgli starring Riz Ahmed, was excited about the project. What’s exciting about the film we’re making is [there] wasn’t canon for ‘Blade’ as we read through the comics and all,” he told IndieWire. “His being a daywalker is the only thing that has been established and you know we can’t deny what Wesley Snipes did, which is he basically started this whole ball rolling. A black man created the superhero world we are in, that’s just the truth. Now that I’m working with someone as talented and a juggernaut as Mahershala Ali and writer Stacy Osei-Kuffour, it just makes me feel so — I’m so honored to be working with real black juggernauts and black talent. It’s really an honor for me just to be in this room with them and to listen and learn as I build that out.”

Wesley Snipes first embodied the half-vampire slayer with supernatural abilities and skilled martial arts skills in the film series, based on the comics by Marv Wolfman and illustrator Gene Colan.

Tariq follows in the footsteps of a select few other directors who have dropped out of Marvel projects: Scott Derrickson left Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness before Sam Raimi came on, and Jon Watts also dropped out of the upcoming Fantastic Four. Reboot before Adam Shakman appeared.

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Lindsay Lowe

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