Director of Marvel's 'Blade' exits the highly anticipated reboot

No details have emerged over how Bassam Tariq's departure will affect production, which is set to begin in November

BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 21: Director Bassam Tariq is seen at the "Mogul Mowgli" press conference during the 70th Berlinale International Film Festival Berlin at Grand Hyatt Hotel on February 21, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
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Problems are mounting for the Marvel reboot of Blade as director Bassam Tariq is leaving two months before production is to start.

The vampire action thriller, a revisit of the 1990s Wesley Snipes franchise that is scheduled for release next year, is set to begin shooting in November, with the studio issuing a call for extras days ago.

However, The Hollywood Reporter announced the exit on Tuesday and the search is on for his replacement.

“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,” Marvel is reported to have said. “We appreciate Bassam’s talent and all the work he’s done getting Blade to where it is.”

Tariq, who directed and co-wrote Mogul Mowgli, joined the Blade project last year, in which he began with an initial script by Watchmen writer Stacy Osei-Kuffour.

After his departure, the director released his own statement: “It's been an honor working with the wonderful folks at Marvel. We were able to put together a killer cast and crew. Eager to see where the next director takes the film.”

No details have emerged over how his departure will affect production on the film, which stars Oscar winner Mahershala Ali in the title role, alongside Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre.

The film has reportedly been hit by delays as a result of multiple script rewrites by Beau DeMayo, known for his work on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Moon Knight and The Witcher.

Blade is among Marvel's most anticipated titles, reimagining the 1990s film series that helped put Marvel on the cinematic map for modern audiences. The reboot's star, Ali, caused a stir at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019 when he walked out wearing a baseball cap adorned with the Blade logo, just after the film's surprise announcement.

Ali since made a voice cameo as Blade during a post-credits scene in Eternals (2021), responding to Kit Harrington's character Dane Whitman reaching out towards a magical weapon with: "Sure you're ready for that, Mr Whitman?"

Scroll through all of the Marvel Comics Universe films slated for release this year below

Updated: September 28, 2022, 7:32 AM
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