Will Marvel Delay Blade After Losing Director?

Marvel's Blade has lost director Bassam Tariq, who exited the project with little-to-no explanation why, after having been attached to the film since last year. Blade was set to begin shooting in November, and now subsequent rumors are pointing to Tariq's exit being caused by a variety of problems that are hanging over the film – including the alleged frustrations of star Mahershala Ali, as well as an alleged lack of focus from Marvel Studios and head Kevin Feige. With all that uncertainty in the air, there is one obvious question and/or concern right now: will Marvel have to delay Blade

Hollywood scooper Jeff Sneider was one of the first to report that Blade was losing its director; Sneider has followed up that report with some additional (bleak) details about Blade

"I'm told that the current BLADE script is roughly 90 pages and features exactly TWO (lackluster) action sequences," Sneider tweeted. "Mahershala said to be very frustrated with the process. Feige said to be spread too thin. But hey, that's just what sources are telling me. Don't shoot the messenger".

While none of this is confirmed, these rumors do paint a pretty convincing picture of a situation that would make an up-and-coming director want to jump ship; more to the point, they also echo growing rumors of the troubles Marvel Studios has been going through since the COVID pandemic. Production delays caused by the pandemic have rippled out all the way into the visual effects houses needed to create the fantasy of Marvel movies, resulting in rushed timetables that have resulted in noticeably shabbier finished visuals in the Phase 4 films.

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With the ambitious schedule that Marvel has laid out through Phases 5 and 6 (leading up to a massive event finish with Avengers: Secret Wars), Blade has been noticeably absent from all the updates and teasers that were given out during Comic-Con 2022 and D23 Expo 2022. Not one story detail from the script by writer Stacy Osei-Kuffour has been revealed and casting has been kept vague, with Delory Lindo (Gone in 60 Seconds), and Aaron Pierre (Krypton) both holding key roles. Marvel has also introduced Blade's daughter in the comics while casting rumors have pointed to the daughter of Blade possibly being introduced to the MCU as well. 

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Fans have been wondering out loud all along why that is – now it may seem that we know. 

Blade is still rumored to be going into production this Fall.