Blade, the upcoming Marvel film based on the vampire hunter, has lost its director. Bassam Tariq (Mogul Mowgli) will no longer helm the Mahershala Ali-led film, thanks to “continued shifts” in the production schedule. The film, which is set to be released on November 3, 2023, was set to begin shooting later this year, but it is now unclear how Tariq’s departure will affect production. At San Diego Comic-Con this year, it was revealed that Blade would be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 5.
“Due to continued changes in our production schedule, Bassam is no longer moving forward as director of Blade but will remain an executive producer on the film,” Marvel Studios told The Hollywood Reporter in a prepared statement. “We appreciate Bassam’s talent and all the work he has done Blade where it is.” In a separate statement, Tariq confirmed his exit from the role as the studio begins the hunt for a replacement.
The troubled MCU film has seen its production schedule shift a few times with several rounds of script rewrites. Stacy Osei-Kuffour, best known for HBO’s Guardianswrote the manuscript.
I’m told the current BLADE script is about 90 pages long and contains exactly TWO (blank) action sequences. Mahershala is said to be very frustrated with the process. Feige is said to be spread too thin. But hey, that’s just what sources tell me. Don’t shoot the messenger
— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) 28 September 2022
Tariq’s exit was first reported by insider Jeff Sneider, who claimed on Twitter that lead Ali is “frustrated” with the production — on a script that’s roughly only 90 pages long, and features two “blank” action sequences. According to his sources, Beau DeMayo, who has writing credits for Moon Knight and The Witcher, is being considered as the new writer for Blade.
Details regarding Blade reboot has been surprisingly sparse since the film was first announced in 2019. Ali’s vampire hunter Eric Brooks appeared in the MCU last year, thanks to an off-screen voice cameo in a post-credits scene attached to Chloé Zhao’s Eternals. In the scene, Dane Whitman (Kit Harrington) comes into possession of the Ebony Blade, the case of which has the words “Death is my reward” engraved in Latin. Ali’s voiceover reads, “Are you ready for this, Mr. Whitman?” which was enough to get Marvel comics fans excited about the character.
For now, Blade is scheduled for a release on November 3, 2023. Depending on the circumstances, it may not last. Before Blade appears, the MCU – on the big screen – will treat us to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in November, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania in February 2023, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in May 2023 and The Marvels in July 2023.