Marvel's upcoming Blade reboot has found its director. After what is said to have been a thorough search that has involved meeting a variety of potential candidates since last year, the project has zeroed in on Bassam Tariq to helm the new movie with Mahershala Ali starring as a new incarnation of the titular vampire slayer. Stacy Osei-Kuffour is penning the screenplay for the new Blade with Marvel President Kevin Feige producing.
Per Deadline, Feige and Ali have joined studio execs in meeting with at least a dozen candidates going back to the fall. There were plans at one point to hire a writer-director to take on both the screenplay and directing duties, but the choice was later made to separate the two. It has since been announced that Osei-Kuffour was on board to write the script, but the search for a director was still underway. Tariq reportedly made the final cut after making the short list in another round of meetings over the past few months.
An up-and-coming director, Bassam Tariq is best known for directing the 2020 movie Mogul Mowgli. Riz Ahmed co-wrote the script with Tariq and starred alongside Aiysha Hart and Alyy Khan. The moving drama tells the story of a British-Pakistani rapper struck down by a disease. Tariq also co-directed the 2013 documentary These Birds Walk about the life of a runaway boy in Pakistan and the humanitarian efforts of Abdul Sattar Edhi.
Created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan, Blade's first ever appearance was in the comic book Tomb of Dracula No. 10 in 1973. Half-human and half-vampire, Blade is a dhampir who has devoted his life to becoming a vampire hunter and ridding the world of vampires. He was famously played by Wesley Snipes in a trilogy of movies released between 1998 and 2004. Snipes was hoping to reprise the role before Marvel Studios opted to reboot Blade for the MCU, though he has since given his blessing to Ali.
"When Mahershala Ali calls, you answer," Feige told The Hollywood Reporter in 2019, revealing that it was the Moonlight actor himself that volunteered to play Blade. Apparently, all it took was a phone call from Ali for a meeting to quickly be set up as the actor heard that a Blade reboot was in the works. It didn't take long at all for Feige to see the value in Ali starring in the next Blade, and his official casting was announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2019.
Ali's casting as Blade dates back to 2019, though it wasn't until February 2021 when Stacy Osei-Kuffour finally boarded the project as its screenwriter. With no release date yet on the board, production is not exactly moving quickly on the project, but it's probably for the best that Marvel Studios is not rushing the movie. The good news is that progress can start moving along much more quickly with the creative team in place, though it's unclear when filming is expected to begin.
Marvel has not yet provided an official comment on Tariq's involvement in Blade. An official release date for Blade also has yet to be revealed by Marvel Studios. This news comes to us from Deadline. The hero art is from @apexform on Instagram.