It’s relatively rare for Marvel Studios to walk back any of its big announcements, with even canned projects like the Inhumans movie getting repurposed into some other form, but it wouldn’t have been that surprising if Marvel eventually decided to quietly drop its plans for a new Blade movie starring Mahershala Ali as the eponymous Daywalker. After all, it’s been two years since that too-good-to-be-true casting was announced, and then there was this whole global pandemic that sidetracked every plan that anyone—even the all-powerful Marvel Studios—had made, so it would’ve been understandable for either Marvel or Ali to have second thoughts about something that could be very cool but would also put everyone involved under a whole lot of pressure to live up to the greatness of Blade and Blade 2.
But, apparently, someone out there really does believe that we deserve nice things, because the new Blade movie is still on and it might even be getting a buzzy, up-and-coming director. This comes from Deadline, which says indie filmmaker Bassam Tariq—who had only made shorts and documentaries before his feature breakout last year with the Riz Ahmed-starring Mogul Mowgli—is Marvel’s choice for taking on Blade. Deadline says there’s no deal in place yet, but apparently Marvel was really interested in whatever “vision” he pitched in some meetings this year with Ali and Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige. Stacy Osei-Kuffour, who worked on Watchmen and PEN15, is writing the script.
The next question Marvel will have to answer is “What do you do about Wesley Snipes?” Blade was a comic book character long before he appeared in movies, but Snipes’ version of the character is up there with the most iconic takes of any character ever. He made it clear when Ali’s casting was announced that he was pretty cool with whatever happened, though he did share a clip on Twitter of his Blade saying that “some motherfuckers are always trying to ice skate uphill,” so it seemed like his magnanimousness was at least partially coming from the fact that he knows that Marvel knows that it will have to convince people that it’s doing right by Blade—and that one way of accomplishing that is by doing right by Wesley Snipes. Also: What are the odds anyone in this movie says “motherfucker?”