The Blade reboot set to star Mahershala Ali as the ass-kicking Daywalker himself has found a director. Bassam Tariq, who helmed the upcoming Riz Ahmed film Mogul Mowgli, is in talks to take on the Marvel movie. Stacy Osei-Kuffour is penning the script, which will resurrect the half-human/half-vampire Blade within the continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Deadline has the scoop that Bassam Tariq is likely to direct Blade. Per their report, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and star Mahershala Ali “have been meeting with dozen[s] of candidates going all the way back to the fall, at one point considering writer-director options,” before deciding to bring in writer Stacy Osei-Kuffour and find a director elsewhere. That director is now all but sure to be Bassam Tariq, a filmmaker who helmed the 2013 documentary These Birds Walk and the Riz Ahmed movie Mogul Mowgli. If you’ve never heard of that one, don’t worry – it has yet to be released in the U.S. Strand Releasing will distribute the film here in September.
The most recent round of director meetings “started in March and went all the way through June,” with those who made the final cut delivering their “final presentations over that time,” with Tariq’s “vision that ultimately won all parties over.” And now all that’s left is for the director to officially sign on. Well, okay, that’s not all that’s left – he’ll have to make the movie, too. Obviously.
Blade was created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan, first appearing in the pages of The Tomb of Dracula #10 in 1973. The character leapt to the big screen in 1998 with Blade starring Wesley Snipes as the titular character. Snipes returned for Blade II and Blade Trinity. By all accounts, behind-the-scenes drama plagued that third film. That, coupled with lackluster box office returns, effectively killed the Snipes Blade series. However, the actor had teased a potential return over the years.
Instead, Marvel is moving ahead with a reboot that will have Oscar winner Mahershala Ali playing the role. Ali’s casting and the surprising news of a new Blade movie were announced during the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con. There’s a ton of potential here, and Ali is more than qualified for the role. That said, it’s very hard to imagine a character like Blade within the current MCU continuity. Can you imagine vampires running around in the same world as the Avengers movies? I can’t! But I’m sure they’ll figure something out.
Having not seen either of Bassam Tariq’s films, I can’t really comment on his work. But in the meantime, here’s a TED Talk the filmmaker delivered six years ago.
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Author: Chris Evangelista
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July 20, 2021