Blade director Bassam Tariq recently discussed the importance of Wesley Snipes’ Blade films when asked about his upcoming MCU take on the character. First announced at Marvel Studios’ Hall H panel during San Diego Comic-Con 2019, the film stars Mahershala Ali as the titular vampire hunter. Tariq recently confirmed that he would direct the film following rumors of him being Marvel’s choice in July.
Blade will introduce audiences to a more supernatural and secretive aspect of the MCU, as the film follows the vampire hunting Daywalker in his battle against the bloodsucking creatures of the night. The creatures were first teased by Mobius during episode 4 of Loki, with director Kate Herron remaining secretive regarding the dialogue. There currently isn’t a lot of information on Blade, but Tariq is starting to tease more details on his MCU project.
When speaking to Indiewire about his latest film, Mogul Mowgli, Tariq discussed how his film would approach the character. Tariq explained the freedom he had when tackling the character of Blade due to a lack of a restrictive canon. The director also emphasized the importance of Wesley Snipes’ films and how they influenced the current era of superhero films with their successes, before discussing how honored he is to work with both star Ali and screenwriter Stacy Osei-Kuffour. Check out Tariq’s full quote below:
“What’s exciting about the film that we’re making is [there] hasn’t been a canon for ‘Blade,’ as we’re reading through the comics and everything. Him being a daywalker is the one thing that’s been established, and you know we can’t deny what Wesley Snipes did, which was he basically got this whole ball rolling. A Black man created the superhero world that we’re in, that’s just the truth. For me to now be working with somebody as talented and a juggernaut as Mahershala Ali, and the writer Stacy Osei-Kuffour, I’m just so — I’m so honored to be working with real Black juggernauts and Black talent. For me to just be with them in this room and listen and learn as I build this out, it’s really an honor.”
Released in 1998, Blade starred Snipes’ as Marvel’s half-vampire hero as he faced off against Stephen Dorff’s villainous vampire Deacon Frost. Snipes’, who fully supports Ali taking on the character, ushered in the modern popularity of superhero movies, as well as being the first successful Marvel film both commercially and with audiences. Following a string of underperforming and critically panned superhero adaptations such as 1997’s Batman & Robin and Christopher Reeve’s later Superman films, Blade was a hit with audiences, leading to a strong box-office performance while also paving the way for films like 2000’s X-Men, 2001’s Spider-Man, and later the MCU itself.
Tariq’s comments offer insight into his vision of the daywalker. His discussion of Blade’s canon shows that while he is pulling inspiration from the character’s history, his take promises to be unique and something audiences may not expect. While he may offer a fresh approach to the hero, his acknowledgment of Snipes’ portrayal’s influence suggests that there will still be some familiarity between Snipes’ and Ali’s take that fans will recognize. With reports of Blade‘s filming starting in July 2022, it’s possible more information on the MCU movie could be revealed in the coming months.