Director Bassim Tariq (“Mogul Mowgli”) recently left his position on Marvel Studios‘ latest adaptation of “Blade,” based on the Marvel comic of the same name. Typically on a major project like this, a new director would be put in right away so the studio doesn’t lose much production time. Crew members were notified October 11th that things are going in the opposite direction, and production has shut down.
Marvel Studios indicated Tariq’s exit was due to scheduling conflicts. “Due to continued shifts in our production schedule, Bassam is no longer moving forward as director of Blade but will remain an executive producer on the film. We appreciate Bassam’s talent and all the work he’s done getting ‘Blade’ to where it is.” Filming for “Blade” was expected to start in Atlanta, Georgia in November of 2022, but will now be delayed until they find a new director.
We doubt finding willing directors will be a problem. “Blade” is one of Marvel’s most anticipated films since it was announced at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) in 2019. Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (“Ramy”) has been attached to play the titular character for just as long. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige even said Ali personally called him to express interest in playing the character.
Where most production shutdowns spell death for a movie, we hope this isn’t the case with “Blade.” One source has claimed Marvel Studios “want to really get it right,” which is truly what fans are hoping for. It makes sense that the studio would want to slow down and thoroughly consider any new director they may hire. A delayed comic book film is better for the bottom line than a rushed one.
“Blade” is currently slated to hit theaters on November 3rd, 2023, but that is certainly subject to change. We’ll keep you posted on any new developments.