5 Directors We'd Love To See Helm Marvel's Blade

A few days ago the news broke that Marvel's upcoming reboot of "Blade" was being put on hold while the studio looked for a new director following Bassim Tariq's exit. The revisit to the world of the film partially responsible for the superhero-dominated culture we're currently experiencing was set to begin principal photography in Atlanta next month, and was apparently already in pre-production on location when crew members were informed of the pause. The company is anticipating a restart for early 2023, but a replacement director has yet to be named. It's been said that the Mahershala Ali-starring film will also be "further developing" story elements of the film, with a trusted /Film source confirming that Ali will contribute to the film's new direction, perhaps even with additional rewrites at his request. 

This gives us plenty of time to dream up a fantasy book of our own directorial choices, and think of the multitude of ways that the vampire action film could go depending on the ultimate directorial decision. Don't worry, Kevin Feige, I've already done the work of crafting a short list of potential winners so you don't have to. Here are five directors that we'd love to see in the director's chair for Marvel's "Blade," and if you end up choosing any of them, I'll happily accept a pair of Blade sunglasses as a thank you.

Sam Bailey

Sam Bailey has been killing it for a while now, and the co-creator of the Emmy-nominated web series "Brown Girls" is already in Marvel's wheelhouse. Having directed episodes of shows like "The Chi," "Grown-ish," and "Dear White People," Bailey was brought on to direct multiple episodes of the upcoming Marvel series "Ironheart." She's currently working on her feature directorial debut "Raina's Not Here," which is based on her 2019 short film of the same name. 

Bailey has a strong eye and a fairly stacked resume, but the "Ironheart" connection makes her seem like a shoo-in. While she may not have the horror connection that others on this list have, she's got a leg up in having already directed a Marvel project. It'd be a great sight to see the company fostering the talent from their TV programming into their MCU films. 

Kimani Ray Smith

You know how "John Wick" director Chad Stahelski got his start working as a stuntman and then went on to helm one of the most exciting action franchises in film history? Well, if Kimani Ray Smith was given the keys to the castle of "Blade," Marvel might be able to join the illustrious ranks. 

Smith has been working in stunts for decades, having worked on high-profile projects like "Catwoman," "Fantastic Four," "X-Men: The Last Stand," "The Incredible Hulk," "Watchmen," "Resident Evil: Retribution," "Van Helsing," and even "Blade: The Series," just to name a few. He's well-seasoned in both horror and superhero cinema, providing him an incomparable pedigree to most directors. While continuing to work in the stunt departments, Kimani Ray Smith has also directed episodes of "Two Sentence Horror Stories," the anthology "Horror Noire," and "GenZeroes." With so many years under his belt in the industry, he's more than deserving of a huge project like this to showcase all he's learned.

Nikyatu Jusu

If you don't already know the name Nikyatu Jusu, prepare to meet your new favorite director. Her feature directorial debut "Nanny" made her the winner of Sundance's prestigious Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, with the film getting picked up for distribution by Amazon Studios for a November theatrical release and December streaming on Prime Video. The film is so good that Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw Productions is joining forces with Universal Pictures to bring Jusu's next film to the big screen.

Nikyatu Jusu would make for an incredible choice for "Blade," as her brilliant short film "Suicide by Sunlight," displays stunning visual language centered in a world of Black vampires. Similar to how Marvel scooped up Nia DaCosta to direct "The Marvels," they'd be wise to snag someone like Jusu while they can still afford her, because she's about to be the next big thing.

Xavier Burgin

If Marvel is looking for a fresh talent to bring to the table, Xavier Burgin has to be at the top of the list. An Emmy-nominated writer and director from USC Cinematic Arts, Burgin is currently a staff writer on the Starz' wrestling series "Heels." Burgin also served as the director of the documentary "Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror," Adult Swim's Juneteenth Special, the BET+ Emmy-winning series, "Giants," and was the winner of the "Project Greenlight" commercial competition.

Burgin's resume is pretty impressive, as is his list of program acceptance participation. He's a graduate of the Paramount Viewfinder Program, Netflix Dubbing Initiative, Sundance Labs, HBO Showcase, Berlinale Talents, Commercial Directors Diversity Program, and Ryan Murphy's Half Fest. To put it simply, Xavier Burgin knows his stuff, and with such an extensive knowledge of horror, would be a great fit for "Blade."

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah

Look, we're still not over the fact Warner Bros. Discovery chose to write off "Batgirl" for tax purposes, meaning the $90 million superhero movie from Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah would never see the light of day. As the directors of "Bad Boys For Life" and a few episodes of "Ms. Marvel," the duo has more than proved their abilities to tackle a massive blockbuster based on an extremely recognizable IP. 

Chances are we would have been equally impressed by "Batgirl," but alas, the world is cruel and we weren't meant to have nice things, it seems. The "Blade" story needs people at the helm that know how to direct action, which Adil and Bilall certainly can handle. Not only would the two absolutely crush it with "Blade," it would be a nice middle finger from Marvel to DC by embracing a talented team that was shown such blatant disrespect by learning their movie was canceled on Adil El Arbi's wedding day.