After the exit of director Bassam Tariq, the release of Blade is set to be delayed significantly. Citing production schedule issues as his reason for exit, Tariq left the film weeks ago and has yet to be replaced by Marvel.
In a statement following his exit as director, 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.” He remains on the film as an executive producer.
Though it was widely believed it would not take long for Marvel to find a new director, they have announced that Blade is now set to be released on September 6, 2024, 10 months after the initially announced release date of November 2, 2023.
A source from Marvel revealed their aim is to, “really get it right,” and delaying production was the best course of action for the studio. It will allow Marvel to slowly search for a director who fits the project, as opposed to panic-signing an unsuitable director. It has also been rumoured that Marvel have hired a new writer to further develop the project and work on rewriting the script first developed by Tariq.
Since the project was announced in September 2019, Blade has been one of the more highly anticipated upcoming films for Marvel fans. The character was first made famous in an earlier trilogy starring Wesley Snipes as the titular character, and Marvel’s reboot is set to feature two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali as the main man, alongside Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre.
Speaking on the casting of Ali, Marvel president Kevin Fiege revealed that, “He’s a huge fan of these films and a huge fan of that character, and it just made perfect sense…it’s an honour that he agreed to play Blade for us.”
Production for Blade was set to begin in November 2022, but Marvel now hopes to begin in early 2023.
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