Blade Director Bassam Tariq Leaves Marvel Films

Bassam Tariq has stepped down from directing Marvel Studios’ Blade. diversity has confirmed.

Tariq’s departure comes as a shock, as production on Marvel’s upcoming feature about the iconic comic book vampire slayer was scheduled to begin in November. The film will star Mahershala Ali in the title role alongside a cast that includes Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre.

Although he will no longer be directing Blade, sources close to the situation say Tariq will remain associated with the project as executive producer.

The filmmaker was first confirmed to direct Blade in summer 2021. He previously directed the 2020 rap drama Mogul Mowgli starring Riz Ahmed.

“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,” Tariq said in a statement, confirming his departure as director.

It remains unclear how Tariq’s departure could affect the production schedule for Blade, which is set for release on November 3, 2023. Given the carefully planned chronology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which events in various films and television series impact storylines of subsequent entries, a significant delay for Blade could potentially reshape Marvel Studios’ vast content slate in unforeseen ways.

Tariq isn’t the first director to leave a Marvel Studios film that has already completed significant pre-production time. Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson stepped down from directing the sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, four months before filming began. Later Sam Raimi took over the project.

Additionally, Jon Watts, who helmed the MCU’s three Spider-Man entries at Sony, stepped down over the summer to direct Disney’s upcoming Fantastic Four reboot, though that project is targeting a much later November 8 release date . 2024

Blade has been on the horizon for a while. The project was first announced at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, with Ali making a surprise appearance at the end of the presentation in Hall H at Marvel Studios. The arrival was met with a vocal reaction from fans both in person and online.

Ali has since made his MCU debut in the role — sort of. The actor’s voice is heard in a post-credits scene of 2021’s “Eternals,” where the vampire hunter speaks to Kit Harington’s character, Dane Whitman.

The Hollywood Reporter was the first to report Tariq’s departure as a director. Blade Director Bassam Tariq Leaves Marvel Films

Charles Jones

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