Former Blade Director Bassam Tariq Comments on Marvel Exit

Last night's blockbuster news that Deadpool 3 would feature an appearance by Hugh Jackman's Wolverine turned out to be just one of two major Marvel announcements -- although the other wasn't so exciting. Filmmaker Bassam Tariq parted ways with Marvel Studios, leaving Blade without a director not long before the film was expected to go into production ahead of its planned 2023 release date. The filmmaker, who confirmed his involvement with Blade almost exactly a year ago, will remain on board as an executive producer, but will no longer be the credited writer or director on the film, which is already undergoing some script rewrites as the studio searches for a new director.

Marvel blamed the change on scheduling conflicts in their official comment last night. Tariq had nothing but good things to say about the studio as he left the job behind, and took to social media later to follow up the official statement with one a little more heartfelt.

"Blade's been a beautiful ride," the filmmaker wrote. "At this moment, I'm filled wit hlove and gratitude toward the folks at Marvel as well [as] the incredible crew and cast we assembled. I'm eager to see how the next director builds on the foundation we've set."

You can see the post below.

Moon Knight alumnus Beau DeMayo is actively rewriting the script first developed by Tariq and Watchmen writer Stacy Osei-Kuffour.

Mahershala Ali's take on the character of Blade appeared in the post-credits scene to Eternals in voice only, teasing a crossover with Kit Harington's Dane Whitman/Black Knight.

The character previously appeared in a trilogy of films that leaned into his horror roots, and were distributed by Warner Bros.' New Line Entertainment in the years before Marvel Studios was actively producing their own films. They starred Wesley Snipes, who has continued to lobby to come back to the role in the years since. Whether he will end up with some kind of cameo in the new film is not known.

Blade is set for release on November 3, 2023. There is no word yet on whether the hunt for a new director will slow that down. Ant-Man and Thor: The Dark World both lost directors before production began, but in those cases they weren't a couple of weeks out from shooting, as Blade is rumored to be.