Mahershala Ali's "Blade" Movie Loses Its Director
Way back in 2019, Marvel Studios announced that two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali would play the iconic superhero Blade in a new film. Three years later, at San Diego Comic-Con on July 23, fans got their first big update on the movie, which will be a major part of Marvel's Phase Five. During a panel, Marvel Studios' president, Kevin Feige, announced that the movie would go into production this fall and be released in November 2023. However, on Sept. 28, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that director Bassam Tariq had left the movie, even though production was set to begin in November.
"Due to continued shifts in our production schedule, Bassam is no longer moving forward as director of Blade but will remain an executive producer on the film," Marvel said in a statement to THR. "We appreciate Bassam's talent and all the work he's done getting Blade to where it is."
Tariq said in a statement to THR, "It's been an honor 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." Neither Marvel nor Tariq immediately responded to POPSUGAR's request for comment.
Wesley Snipes first played Blade in three movies: 1998's "Blade," 2002's "Blade II," and 2004's "Blade: Trinity." Created by writer Marv Wolfman, the character — who first appeared in the 1973 comic book "The Tomb of Dracula #10" — is a half-mortal, half-immortal vampire hunter who slays the undead to avenge his mother, who was killed by a vampire when she gave birth to him. Not only is he handy with a knife and a sword (his name is Blade, after all), but he's also a skilled martial artist.
In July, Snipes opened up to Forbes about why he thinks Ali will be "great" in the role. "Because he's a good actor, he's a talented actor, and he appreciates the craft, the art form of acting," he told the outlet.
"Those who approach the craft that way usually do very, very well, and I think he's done pretty good so far, so I have great confidence. And his name is Mahershala Ali, come on!" Snipes told Forbes. But he said that's not the only thing that will make the new "Blade" movie worthwhile.
"The production, the other actors, the other producers, and creators have to all gel together for the film to work. So we wish them well. Go for it; good luck," Snipes said.
Read on for everything we know about the "Blade" reboot, including the cast and release date.