Marvel’s ‘Blade’ put on hold following director’s exit

Mahershala Ali

Marvel Studios has paused production on the upcoming reboot of Blade starring Mahershala Ali, according to reports.

Following the departure of director Bassim Tariq last month, Marvel has temporarily shut down production in Atlanta, where filming was scheduled to start in November.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the pause is to give the studio time to search for a new director and “coagulate other aspects” of the project. It’s claimed the studio is aiming to restart production in early 2023.

The film’s release date, which was originally scheduled for November 3, 2023, has since been pushed back to September 6, 2024.

Tariq’s exit as director was cited as being “due to continued shifts in our production schedule,” according to Marvel. “Bassam is no longer moving forward as director of Blade but will remain an executive producer on the film,” the statement added.

Bassam Tariq
Bassam Tariq CREDIT: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

In a separate statement, Tariq said: “It’s been an honour 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.”

Filming on the project has been delayed numerous times over the past year, as the script underwent several rewrites. Beau DeMayo, whose previous works include Moon Knight and The Witcher, is the current writer.

Marvel announced a reboot of Blade at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, set to be released as part of the studio’s Phase Five slate. Later, Ali made a surprise voice cameo in the role during a post-credits scene in 2021’s Eternals.

The role was previously played by Wesley Snipes in 1998’s Blade, which spawned two sequels in 2002’s Blade II and Blade: Trinity in 2004.

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