Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Marvel's Blade Movie Rocked By Major Creative Departure

It seems that the long road to getting an adaptation of "Blade" in the Marvel Cinematic Universe just keeps getting longer. It has been almost two decades since Wesley Snipes last portrayed the iconic vampire hunter, and fans have been clamoring for the character to join the ranks of Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), and Captain America (Anthony Mackie). And there is no casting more spot-on than Oscar winner Mahershala Ali in the role. The film and its star were announced at Marvel Studios' San Diego Comic-Con panel in 2019, and fans have been salivating for the release of the film ever since.

Marvel has thrown audiences small crumbs such as Ali uttering his first line as Blade in a post-credits scene at the end of "Eternals," but it wasn't until San Diego Comic-Con 2022 that fans finally got a release date: November 3, 2023 (via Variety). It may not be that easy, however. Just ahead of production, "Blade" has encountered a significant roadblock after a surprising bit of news.

Blade has lost its director

The release of "Blade" has been inching closer and closer, but now that may be thrown into chaos. Only a couple of months ahead of shooting, Bassam Tariq has dropped out as director (via The Hollywood Reporter). Marvel said in a statement that Tariq will be staying on in an executive producing capacity, but it may be a mad dash to find a replacement in time for the film to begin shooting in November.

"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," Tariq's statement reads. The only reason given for the director's departure is scheduling conflicts. "Blade" has reportedly had many starts and stops due to changes in the script, and this last shift ultimately did not line up with Tariq's schedule.

It will be a disappointment if the release of "Blade" is pushed, but even more tragic is the loss of Tariq himself. Outlets such as IndieWire commended Tariq for his 2020 film "Mogul Mowgli," which he co-wrote with star Riz Ahmed. Maintaining an impressive 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, "Mogul Mowgli" examines Zed's (Amed) struggle with losing feeling in his legs as he pursues a rap career. A director with such a dramatic film under his belt would have been an asset to the Marvel filmography, and it's unfortunate the creator had to move on.