At long last, Marvel has released a Blade update--and it's about the film's director.
Mogul Mowgli director Bassam Tariq has been tapped to direct Mahershala Ali as he dives into the dark side of Marvel. Deadline reports that the decision to hire Tariq comes after an arduous, months-long search. Tariq becomes the fourth director of color to work on a Marvel film, backing up Feige's insistence on diversifying the MCU in front of and behind the scenes in Phase 4 and beyond.
Deadline reports that Marvel's Kevin Feige and Marvel brass have met with "dozens of candidates" since fall 2020 and brainstormed possibly having Blade helmed by a writer-director instead of hiring two people. As we know, due to Marvel hiring Stacy Osei-Kuffor, Marvel has set on having a writer and director team as opposed to having one person take care of everything.
Finalists for the director position presented their final presentations between March and June of this year. Tariq's ideas--which haven't been revealed to the public, of course--were the presentation that won Marvel over.
If we read the tea leaves of Tariq's work, we can see that Tariq has mostly worked in the documentary space with These Birds Walk, Ghosts of Sugar Land and 11/8/16. These three documentaries all focus on the interplay between politics and everyday life, particularly how Muslim life is affected by American and world politics. Mogul Mowgli, starring Riz Ahmed, is a fictional drama about a British Pakistani rapper who is about to go on his first world tour but is shocking afflicted by an illness that could threaten his career. Again, there's an interplay between everyday life and extreme extenuating circumstances.
Blade is currently in pre-production. The character Blade was recently hinted at in the Disney+ Marvel series Loki, when Mobius (Owen Wilson) complains to Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) about keeping track of Loki variants being tougher than tracking down vampires in the Sacred Timeline.