Almost two years had passed between Mahershala Ali starring in a Blade reboot being revealed as the shocking conclusion to Marvel’s 2019 San Diego Comic-Con panel and the project finally finding a director, but it’s all systems go for the Daywalker now that the major creative pieces have fallen into place.
Ali and Kevin Feige took their time seeking out the best possible candidates for the job, spending months conducting interviews and taking pitches before settling on a writer and director. Watchmen scribe Stacy Osei-Kuffour was revealed to be tackling the script back in February, but it wasn’t until late July that Bassam Tariq was announced to be stepping behind the camera.
The 34 year-old is very much an unknown quantity in the eyes of the general public, with only one documentary and one feature film under his belt, but in a new interview he admitted that it’s a privilege and an honor to board the most successful franchise in history at such an early stage of his career.
“I didn’t think Blade was going to happen, just to be very honest. I’m honored and it’s a privilege, but I’m here in service of Stacy Osei-Kuffour, who is the incredible writer that is writing the film. She’s just a phenomenal presence and a juggernaut in her own right. And for Mahershala. For me, it’s really just working in their service.. Marvel takes big swings, you know? I can’t say anything about it, but I’m just so excited for what we’re doing.
Character is very important for me. I don’t think of genre, I think of character. It’s not so boxed in as people imagine it to be. It’s quite exciting. And I think the reality is there is no Blade canon, you know? If you ever read the comics, they’re always changing. Unfortunately, the comic book series never lasted that long.”
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His 2013 doc These Birds Walk and upcoming Riz Ahmed drama Mogul Mowgli boast 96% and 97% scores on Rotten Tomatoes respectively, so Tariq clearly knows his stuff despite such a limited filmography. Blade doesn’t have a release date or supporting cast in place just yet, but we can expect shooting to start at some point next year to meet a presumed late-2023 big screen bow.