Mahershala Ali's Blade reboot is undoubtedly one of Marvel Studios' highly-anticipated projects. After being greenlit at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, the project's development rolled slowly, up until the studio finally found its director in Bassam Tariq back in 2021. At the recent San Diego Comic-Con, the studio confirmed that the production will finally commence in October, making Blade's MCU return officially true.
Just when we thought that Blade is finally making progress, the studio faces another setback after director Bassam Tariq recently announced his departure from the project.
Why Did Bassam Tariq Left Mahershala Ali's Blade?
According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, Bassam Tariq left MCU's Blade due to "continued shifts in [the] production schedule." Nonetheless, Tariq will remain as executive producer for the film.
See Marvel Studios' official statement regarding Tariq's departure:
“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.”
Tariq also shared his grateful words regarding his exit and said that he is excited about what happens to the film in the hands of the next director:
“It's been an honor working with the wonderful folks at Marvel. We were able to put together a killer cast and crew. Eager to see where the next director takes the film.”
Tariq's exit will certainly jeopardize the reboot's production, considering how he left just one week ahead of the scheduled filming date. Now, the studio goes back to "search mode" in finding the director's replacement.
Is the Marvel Cinematic Universe Too Expanded for Marvel President Kevin Feige to Handle?
According to The Ankler's Jeff Snieder, via his sources, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige might be responsible for Tariq's exit, noting that Feige is "spread too thin" in developing Marvel's many upcoming projects slated for the next MCU Phases.
"I’m told that the current BLADE script is roughly 90 pages and features exactly TWO (lackluster) action sequences. Mahershala said to be very frustrated with the process. Feige said to be spread too thin. But hey, that’s just what sources are telling me. Don’t shoot the messenger"
The constantly increasing number of projects the studio releases per year appears to be a concern, and even fans have noticed a decline in the quality of several Marvel projects, particularly in its CGI and effects. Just recently, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law also faced a massive backlash with fans comparing the MCU newcomer to Shrek's Fiona.
Going back to the Blade reboot, it remains to be seen how the studio will bounce back and find a new director. Blade is still slated to release on November 3, 2023, but fans can now expect a delay while the film finalizes the script and find an entrusted director.
Stay Tuned for more updates about Blade!