Blade has been one of the biggest mysteries surrounding Marvel Studios' Phase 4.
Initially announced in the 'main event' slot of Marvel Studios' presentation at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige introduced the heavily-decorated Mahershala Ali to a packed Hall H as the Marvel Cinematic Universe's take on the vampire hunter. The two-time Academy Award winner proudly placed a Blade hat on his head, but, since then, word surrounding the film has been quiet.
Feige reminded fans that the MCU's Blade would be coming toward the end of his Disney Investor Day presentation. Fast-forward a couple of months later, and the project was absent from Marvel's "See You At The Movies" sizzle reel.
While a release date and cast remain in question, Blade took a big step forward in development today.
MARVEL STUDIOS' BLADE REPORTEDLY FINDS ITS DIRECTOR
The Blade reboot at Marvel Studios has supposedly landed its director.
According to Deadline, the Mahershala Ali-led film will be helmed by Bassam Tariq, although the outlet stressed that a deal is not yet finalized.
Tariq's filmography is fairly young, with the Pakistani director best being known for directing Mogul Mowgli, which premiered at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in 2020.
FULL STEAM AHEAD ON THE VAMPIRE HUNTER
With a director inked, Blade finally has its first surge of momentum.
As mentioned, not much is known about Bassam Tariq, but his inexperience fits the Marvel Studios mold.
Since Phase 1, Marvel has sought out young filmmakers. Before helming the MCU's Spider-Man franchise, director Jon Watts has two feature film credits to his name. The Russo brothers mostly worked on television sitcoms leading up to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Even someone like James Gunn, who is arguably the hottest director in Hollywood right now, only directed two 'Hollywood' movies ahead of 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy.
With a director tapped, Blade can finally move forward on production. Marvel Studios is clearly in no rush to get this reboot released as it is patiently developing this new take on the vampire hunter. Still, the pieces are falling into place for Blade to debut at some point in the next two years. After all, the character was recently teased in an episode of Loki.
It's unclear when Phase 4 will end, but Marvel Studios' foreseeable future projects only extend until 2023. With a director on board now, filming could get moving before the calendar year's end. Blade creator Marv Wolfman hinted at a 2022 drop for Mahershala Ali's reboot, and movement like this makes that all the more realistic.
Blade is currently without a release date but has been rumored to fill Marvel Studios' vacant October 7, 2022 slot.