Marvel Studios’ Blade, centered on its vampire slayer character, is zeroing in on a director.
Bassam Tariq is in early talks helm the feature project, capping off a search that began in fall 2020. Tariq is known for directing the rap drama Mogul Mowgli, which he also co-wrote with star Riz Ahmed. Marvel declined to comment.
Two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali is playing Blade, a half-human, half-vampire who stalks the night to hunt down vampires. Marvel boss Kevin Feige revealed the casting of Ali at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2019, with the executive noting the actor informed Marvel he’d like to play the character after he won his second Oscar, for Greenbook.
Despite the early star attachment, it was only halfway through 2020 that Marvel really began sharpening the stakes in the search for its creative team. The studio spent months meticulously searching for the right scribe, only this February landing on Watchmen’s Stacy Osei-Kuffour, who became Marvel’s first Black female writer in the process.
Blade debuted in 1973’s Tomb of Dracula No. 10. He was created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan, and went on to be played by Wesley Snipes in three films made by New Line Cinema from 1998-2004. Stephen Norrington, Guillermo del Toro, and Goyer respectively directed the trio.
Tariq is repped by WME and Range Media Partners. Deadline first reported the news.