Unexpectedly, the director of Marvel’s vampire action-thriller Blade has been fired. It is uncertain if Bassam Tariq’s resignation from his job would affect the film’s initial release date, although he will continue to serve in that capacity as executive producer.
Tariq has left the movie, as Marvel reps have revealed in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. Bassam is no longer directing Blade due to ongoing changes in our production schedule, but he will still serve as an executive producer, according to a statement from Marvel. “We value Bassam’s ability and the effort he put in to make Blade what it is today.” In his follow-up statement, Tariq, who previously directed and co-wrote Mogul Mowgli, announced his resignation. He thanked Marvel for the experience thus far and wished the following director well. Working with the fantastic people at Marvel has been an honor. We were able to assemble a fantastic cast and team. I’m curious to see where the film is taken by the upcoming director, Tariq stated. According to an unnamed source, Marvel is now looking for a new director.
It’s unknown how the production will be impacted by Tariq’s resignation as director. At the San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, when Ali made a surprise appearance sporting a baseball cap bearing the Blade emblem during a Marvel panel, the development of Blade was initially confirmed. The movie’s initial release date was planned for November 3, 2023, and filming was scheduled to start in Atlanta in October or November. This date, according to sources, has not yet been decided.
Blade’s production has already undergone several screenplay revisions, in addition to Tariq resigning as a director. The current writer is Beau DeMayo, who has previously contributed to Marvel’s Moon Knight as well as other programs including The Witcher and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Stacy Osei-Kuffour, the author of the original script Tariq worked from until 2021, was replaced by DeMayo. No changes have been made to the cast, which still includes Delroy Lindo (The Good Fight) and Aaron Pierre in addition to Ali playing the title role in Blade (Old).
The half-mortal, half-immortal vampire hunter whose tale Marv Wolfman first imagined would be the subject of Blade. In 1973, Gene Colan’s illustrations for Wolfman’s The Tomb of Dracula No. 10 featured Blade for the first time. Originally portrayed by Wesley Snipes in a trilogy in the early 2000s, Blade centers on a hunter who wants to get revenge on a vampire for killing his mother while she was giving birth to him. After Marvel’s Eternals, the character (as portrayed by Ali) also made a vocal cameo.
The blade will still debut in theatres on November 3, 2023, as of this writing.