Bassam Tariq has announced that he is stepping down as director of the upcoming Marvel film Blade starring Mahershala Ali.
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, the director shared that while he won’t be making the calls behind the camera, he is still staying on the project as an executive producer.
“Dear Friends, it’s been a minute. Blade‘s been a beautiful ride,” Tariq wrote. “At this moment, I’m filled with love and gratitude towards the folks at Marvel as well as the incredible crew and cast we assembled. I’m eager to support and see how the next director builds on the foundation we’ve set. I’ll now be joining the project as an EP as I move on to what’s next.”
While Tariq did not give a specific reason for his decision to depart the film, Marvel told EW in a statement that the decision was made “due to continued shifts in our production schedule.” They added, “We appreciate Bassam’s talent and all the work he’s done getting Blade to where it is.”
It’s unclear how Tariq’s departure will affect the supernatural thriller, which is set to begin shooting in Atlanta just two months from now in November.
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images Bassam Tariq
Ali previously revealed that Marvel fans have already gotten a glimpse of his performance as the iconic half-vampire vampire hunter (previously played by Wesley Snipes) during a post-credit scene from 2021’s Eternals. Alongside Ali, Delroy Lindo of Da 5 Bloods and Aaron Pierre of The Underground Railroad have also been cast.
Blade is currently scheduled to hit theaters Nov. 3, 2023.
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