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Blade Reboot Director Explains How The Vampire Hunter Is Being Handled For The MCU

Blade Marvel Comics

Marvel Studios packed a lot of big announcements into its panel at 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, including that a Blade reboot starring True Detective’s Mahershala Ali was in development. While we’re still a ways off from seeing Ali’s take on Eric Brooks enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was reported in July that Mogul Mowgli director Bassam Tariq had been hired to helm Blade. Now Tariq has not only confirmed this is true, he’s also provided some insight on what we can expect from this version of the vampire hunter.

Although the first Wesley Snipes-led Blade movie preceded the first X-Men movie by two years, one couldn’t have been faulted for not knowing this was based on a comic book property not only because of the relative obscurity of the character at the time, but because it felt more at home in the horror genre. As such, Bassam Tariq was asked during his appearance on The Playlist Podcast whether Marvel’s Blade reboot would feel more like a horror movie or a traditional MCU entry. Here’s what he had to say:

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 of… unfortunately, the runs never lasted that long, and there have been some interesting and exciting waves. But I can say it's character first.

Although Wesley Snipes unquestionably boosted Blade’s popularity thanks to the three movies released in 1998 and 2004, Bassam Tariq is correct that as far as the character’s comic book roots go, there’s definitely much less to work with compared to a more well-known Marvel superhero like Spider-Man or The Hulk. So in that regard, it sounds like Tariq, screenwriter Stacy Osei-Kuffour and the rest of the creative team have more room to leave their own distinct mark on Blade for the MCU, although we’ll obviously still see him slicing up vampires as the Daywalker.

Bassam Tariq also mentioned in the interview that he’s “honored” that he was selected to direct the Blade reboot, and that he considers himself in service to Stacy Osei-Kuffour, whose writing credits include HBO’s Watchmen and Hulu’s Pen15. Osei-Kuffour was revealed to be writing Blade back in February, and while Tariq wouldn’t share any information about the reboot’s plot details, it sounds like he’s impressed with what she’s written. As a side note, I’d actually be alright with Mahershala Ali’s Blade being truly named Fred H. Blade.

Blade doesn’t have an assigned release date yet, but filming will reportedly begin in July 2022. We’ll keep you apprised on its progress as more updates come in, but in the meantime, look through our upcoming Marvel movies guide to discover what else this superhero franchise is sending to the big screen.

Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.