Marvel’s highly anticipated film Blade lost director Bassam Tariq two months ahead of production. The director announced on social media that he is stepping down as director of the upcoming Marvel film starring Mahershala Ali.

Blade director Bassam Tariq exits Marvel film two months ahead of filming; to remain as executive producer

“Dear Friends, it’s been a minute. Blade’s been a beautiful ride,” Tariq wrote in an Instagram post shared Tuesday. “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 Entertainment Weekly 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.”

Blade stars Mahershala Ali in the titular role alongside Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre. The film is slated for a release on November 3, 2023.

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