This is what happens when a film is announced earlier than it probably should have been. It was three years ago that Marvel first announced a new Blade movie starring Mahershala Ali. Bassam Tariq was eventually hired as director, but now with only two months until the start of production, Tariq has made his exit.
THR reports that Bassam Tariq has departed Blade, and according to all involved it’s over the ol’ “scheduling conflict” chestnut…
“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 Studios said. “We appreciate Bassam’s talent and all the work he’s done getting Blade to where it is.”
Tariq chimed in, “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.”
So far there are no clues as to how will replace Tariq. It’s possible they want to stick with a Muslim filmmaker and if that’s the case ex-Batgirl directors Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi would be the obvious choice. They recently directed episodes of Ms. Marvel, so they’re already MCU familiar.
Should we be concerned that Marvel Studios is having so many problems keeping filmmakers around lately? Other than the Edgar Wright/Ant-Man situation, it’s never been a big deal until lately. We’ve seen Scott Derrickson exit Doctor Strange 2, Jon Watts drop out of Fantastic Four, and now this. It could be nothing. It certainly hasn’t hurt them up to this point.
Blade opens on November 3rd 2023.