Marvel Studios is on its way to a stream of thrilling new releases over the next few years, including numerous characters that are looking forward to their MCU debuts. One of those is Mahershala Ali’s Blade, which is preparing to introduce the MCU to vampires and give Eric Brooks his first solo movie since the end of Wesley Snipes’ original trilogy nearly 20 years ago.
Already having been teased in Phase 4’s early run, Blade has the opportunity to introduce the MCU to a new dimension of storytelling apart from the street-level heroes and cosmic beings outside Earth's atmosphere. While filming has been delayed until summer 2022, the anticipation for the film's release has continued to grow since its announcement at San Diego Comic-Con 2019.
Just over a month ago, the announcement came that Bassam Tariq had been hired as the director for the movie, with Mahershala Ali leading the way as the titular hero.
Now, the MCU's new addition has broken his silence on joining the expansive superhero franchise.
BASSAM TARIQ CONFIRMS BLADE JOB
In an interview with The Playlist Podcast Network, Bassam Tariq confirmed that he is signed on with Marvel Studios to direct the upcoming Blade solo movie.
When asked why the time for him to make Blade is right now, Tariq seemed excited that he could confirm his position with Marvel without being flagged for anything. The director admitted that he was "honored, and it's a privilege" to work alongside writer Staci Osei-Kuffour and star Mahershala Ali on the project:
"That’s such a great question. First of all, I can confirm that I am directing Blade. Marvel is letting me do that. There might be, like, a Marvel sniper here somewhere pointing a gun at me or a redaction device or something. What I will say it’s like, it's not that I felt it was, I didn’t think that this was gonna happen. You know what I mean? Just to be very honest, I’m honored, and it’s a privilege. I’m here in service of Staci Osei-Kuffour, who is the incredible writer that’s writing the film. She wrote on Watchmen, she wrote also Pen15 and Power and The Morning Show, she’s just a phenomenal presence and a juggernaut in her own right, and Mahershala. For me, it’s really working in their service, and I think that’s how I’m trying to take it day by day because, to think of anything more is tough."
Commenting on feeling something similar to "imposter syndrome" being involved with Blade, Tariq revealed some of his nervousness about taking on such a high-profile project, although he learned how to manage it as well.
In the end, he expressed his excitement for the opportunity and said he "can't wait" to get started:
"Yeah, I mean, imposter syndrome is real, Charles, you know? I don’t know if you feel it sometimes, but I wonder every day ‘What am I doing here? Oh my god, is this the day where something happens?’ Where I get found out as a fraud. Even these interviews, like, am I gonna say something that makes me sound stupid and then everyone’s thinks ‘Oh, I sound so stupid’ and the whole world thinks ‘Oh, he’s stupid’ or an actor that I really love reads it and goes ‘Oh, I never want to work with him’ or somebody reads it and goes ‘This is the end of me’ or something, you just get so worried. But you know, I’m learning how to take my breaths, you know? I’m honored, that’s all I can really say. And they take big swings for a big studios. I can’t say anything about it, but I’m so excited about what we’re doing, like I’m so excited, Charles, and I can’t wait. Let’s go pen something in for whenever it’s coming out, and let’s talk, man, let’s talk about it, because it’s gonna be fun."
When asked if he thought of Blade as a horror movie or MCU movie first, Tariq clarified that he's mostly focused on the character and exploring his legacy, especially since "the reality is there no Blade canon:"
"What I can tease about it is that we care about character, it’s very important for me, and character is something that…I don’t think of genre, I think of character, and where our character has to go is gonna be really important. What’s so great is it’s not as boxed in as I think people imagine it to be, which I thought it was. But it’s quite exciting. And I think the reality is there no Blade canon. If you ever read the comics, they’re always changing. “Oh it’s this story, it’s this story.’ What’s the canon? It’s not like Peter Parker. His name is Peter Parker. In some comics, his name is Fred H. Blade, you know, instead of Eric Brooks. So it’s an interesting thing. Unfortunately, the runs never lasted that long, and there have been some interesting and exciting waves. But I can say it’s character first."
ANOTHER CHESS PIECE ON THE MCU BOARD
Bassam Tariq is Marvel's latest talent who comes in as a virtual unknown, for which the studio is particularly known for doing with directors. The newcomer only boasts two movies on his resume as a director thus far, one being a documentary, but this has never been something that's stopped Marvel Studios in the past with other directors of the same caliber.
Ryan Coogler only had a pair of directorial efforts under his belt before jumping on the scene for Black Panther in 2018, and even Iron Man director Jon Favreau only boasted three directing jobs before joining the MCU. Even looking at how much hype is already building for Blade, it appears that Tariq is ready to take his place amongst these successful directors when the time comes.
With no release date set for Blade yet, fans will be paying close attention to production for the movie once it gets closer to beginning next summer. As more crew members join Tariq and Osei-Kuffour and cast members are put into place alongside Mahershala Ali, Marvel will look to pull its best resources into play to make this movie the best it can be.
Blade will begin shooting in summer 2022 and currently doesn't have a release date.