Trouble is afoot in the MCU. Bassam Tariq, the director of upcoming Marvel movie Blade, is no longer on the project. This comes as a bit of a shock, as filming was expected to begin on the action movie in November.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news with a comment for Marvel Studios stating that it’s down to “shifts” in the upcoming slate. “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,” the statement read.
Tariq commented himself, thanking Marvel for his time on Blade and noting the cast and range of filmmakers he’d assembled while in the director’s seat. “It’s been an honour working with the wonderful folks at Marvel,” he said. “We were able to put together a killer cast and crew. Eager to see where the next director takes the film.”
Blade was announced back at San-Diego Comic Con 2019, where Kevin Feige made a wave of announcements for the MCU. At that point, it was clear it was still early days, though Mahershala Ali was confirmed to be playing the vampire hunter for Marvel’s Phase 5.
Announcements have been slow since, though Covid-19 no doubt played its part in that. Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre were added to the cast, and recently, the superhero movie was dated for November 3. 2023. That date remains intact, and THR reports that Marvel Studios is currently looking for a replacement director.
This isn’t the only MCU feature to have this issue in recent years. Scott Derrickson and C Robert Cargill departed from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness close to shooting, with horror movie expert Sam Raimi drafted in to replace them. That also seemed an amicable split, creators and studio agreeing that things just weren’t working out.
Blade is something of a cult hero, a part-man, part-vampire stalker of the night. Wesley Snipes played him in two monster movies from Guillermo del Toro, with a third from David S Goyer. Have a look at our list of the best Netflix horror movies for some chills in the meantime.