Marvel Presses Pause On Blade While Hunting For A New Director

In a surprising change of course for the studio that always has a five-year-plan in order, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Marvel's "Blade" is now on hold following director Bassim Tariq's exit from the project. The movie was set to begin filming in Atlanta in November, and was already apparently in pre-production on location when crew members were notified about the news today.

The outlet describes the pause as temporary, with a tentative restart set for early 2023. In the meantime, though, the movie that's set to star Mahershala Ali as the popular vampire hunter from Marvel Comics will need to find a new director and "further develop" aspects of the project, per the outlet. A trusted /Film source has confirmed that Ali is still fully on board with "Blade," and will have a major part in shaping the film's new direction. According to our source, the pause may also include more rewrites at Ali's request.

The project has shifted production before

This isn't the first time the film's schedule has been impacted. In fact, it sounds like the production shifts are part of what caused Tariq to exit in the first place, as Marvel's official statement to THR on his departure said the following:

"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. We appreciate Bassam's talent and all the work he's done getting 'Blade' to where it is."

While it's easy to assume a production delay is cause for concern, it could also be a sign that the studio, which has recently begun to feel like a conveyor belt for varyingly decent content, is trying to be more deliberate and less rushed in its productions. Earlier this year, Marvel VFX team members spoke up about what some of them say are the unrealistically paced working conditions at the company, and this year has seen more polarizing and comparatively poorly-received MCU releases than ever. It certainly can't hurt to stop and take stock of the situation in the wake of Tariq's departure.

Hopefully, "Blade" does make its way to movie theaters soon enough. Along with two-time Oscar-winner Ali, the cast is set to include Delroy Lindo (who, let's be real, should have won an Oscar for "Da 5 Bloods") and "Old" actor Aaron Pierre. The current version of the script was penned by "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" and "The Witcher" writer Beau DeMayo. Per a new press release from Disney, "Blade" will now open on September 6, 2024, almost a year after its original date.