The director of Marvel’s upcoming film Blade starring Mahershala Ali has exited the project just weeks before filming was set to begin.
Marvel recently announced in a statement that Bassam Tariq will no longer be directing the vampire action-thriller, which has Oscar winner Ali in the title role.
Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre are also set to star in the film, written by Stacy Osei-Kuffour.
“Due to continued shifts in our production schedule, Bassam is no longer moving forward as director of Blade but will remain an executive producer on the film,” Marvel said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “We appreciate Bassam’s talent and all the work he’s done getting Blade to where it is.”
As of this writing, it is unclear why Tariq withdrew from the film. He did, however, release a statement of his own thanking Marvel for working with him on the highly anticipated thriller.
“It’s been an honor working with the wonderful folks at Marvel,” he shared, according to THR. “We were able to put together a killer cast and crew. Eager to see where the next director takes the film.”
Marvel's 'Blade' was gearing up to begin shooting this November in Atlanta.
However, with Tariq’s departure, it’s unclear if that is still the plan.
Blade is set to debut in theaters on Nov. 3, 2023.