Marvel Studios’ Blade has found its director. Deadline reports that Bassam Tariq, the helmer behind Mogul Mowgli, is boarding the film.
Tariq is best known for directing 2020’s Mogul Mowgli, which starred Riz Ahmed. If this news is correct, this hiring marks the fifth person of color to direct a movie for Marvel with Tariq following Ryan Coogler, Taika Waititi, Chloé Zhao, and Nia DaCosta. DaCosta and Zhao’s films have yet to be released, with DaCosta helming 2022’s The Marvels and Zhao’s Eternals to come out later this year.
Mahershala Ali was confirmed as Blade at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019. He’ll be the second actor to play Marvel’s most famous vampire, following Wesley Snipes. The character of Blade first appeared in Tomb of Dracula #10 in 1973, becoming an instant cult favorite. He gained infamy in the 90s when Snipes took on the role for the 1998 film Blade and its two sequels.
Deadline notes that “Feige, Ali and studio execs have been meeting with dozen of candidates going all the way back to the fall.” Meetings ran through March to June, with the directors delivering final presentations not too long ago.
Stacy Osei-Kuffour (Watchmen, PEN15) will pen the script, and of course, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige will produce.