Last month came the first word about who will be stepping behind the camera for Marvel’s reboot of Blade on the big screen. Though unconfirmed by Marvel Studios at the time it was reported that Mogul Mowgli filmmaker Bassam Tariq willd direct the film which stars Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali in the title role and has a script by Watchmen and Hunters writer Stacy Osei-Kuffour. Now we don’t need a confirmation from Marvel Studios about the news because Tariq himself has confirmed in a new interview that he’s making the leap into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the new version of the daywalker.
“I didn’t think [‘Blade’] was going to happen, just to be very honest,” Tariq revealed on the latest episode of The Playlist Podcast. “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 [Ali]. 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.”
Those perhaps hoping for a tease of his take on the material or how something like Blade could even fit into the MCU, which is pretty bloodless, Tariq wouldn’t budge though but did tease where his first love is when considering the adaptation.
“Character is very important for me. I don’t think of genre, I think of character,” he added. “It’s not so boxed in as people imagine it to be [working with Marvel Studios]. 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.”
A previous report on the film indicated that it could be titled Blade, the Vampire Slayer and not simply Blade, perhaps to differentiate it from the Wesley Snipes versions from the 1990s (which can arguably exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a variant of the character).
“Since they were having conversations about bringing it back into being, I just wanted to be considered for it because I had definitely a connection, at least in my mind, to Wesley Snipes going back to high school,” Ali previously told The Tight Rope. “I just brought it up as someone who really wanted to take on that [Blade] role and tackle that…I love that it’s darker. That’s all in terms of tone. He’s a little bit darker than some of the other ones and so that element was attractive to me.”
Blade has yet to set a release date.