Almost two years after announcing that Mahershala Ali would revive the cult superhero franchise, Blade, Marvel has finally found its director.
Deadline reports that Bassam Tariq, best known for directing independent film with Riz Ahmed 2020 Mughal Mowgli, landed the role in what will be her first major studio project. After defeating “dozens of candidates,” Tariq becomes the sixth person of color to direct a film for Marvel, joining Ryan Coogler, Chloe Zhao, Destin Cretton, Taika Waititi and Nia DaCosta.
The news comes exactly two years to the day when Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced that Ali would be playing Blade at Marvel’s Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con.
“He’s the perfect blade because he’s one of the greatest actors working today,” Feige said in July 2019. “He’s a huge fan of our universe and the character and he’s going to destroy the role. It’s the kind of dream cast that you hardly dare dream that you could actually do it. But we had a few meetings with him and decided very quickly “let’s do it”.
Wesley Snipes previously played the role in a trilogy of films released between 1998 and 2004: Blade (1998), Blade II (2002), Blade trinity (2004). Snipes was hoping to reprise the role before Marvel Studios acquired the reboot rights Blade for the MCU, but he’s since given Ali his blessing.
Blade does not yet have a planned release date.