Bassam Tariq will no longer direct Blade

Bassam Tariq will no longer direct Blade

Bassam Tariq will no longer direct 'Blade'.

The 35-year-old filmmaker has dropped out as helmer of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie due to changes to the "production schedule", although he will remain involved in the project as an executive producer.

Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali is set to play the title role in the flick, which is slated for release in November 2023, with Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre also featuring in the cast.

Marvel said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter: "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.

"We appreciate Bassam's talent and all the work he's done getting 'Blade' to where it is."

In his own statement, Bassam said: "It's been an honour working with the wonderful folks at Marvel. We were able to put together a killer cast and crew. Eager to see where the next director takes the film."

'Blade' has been one of Marvel's most anticipated films since it was first announced back in 2019 but has been subject to a number of delays with insiders saying that various script rewrites have taken place.

Ali takes over the human-vampire hybrid character from Wesley Snipes, who starred in a trilogy of movies between 1998 and 2004, and was thrilled to receive praise from his predecessor.

The 48-year-old actor said: "Man, you know, [I’m] humbled and so encouraged by that.

"Because he didn’t have to say that. Wasn’t nobody really asking him like that.

"So for him to come out and say that, somebody I look up to so much, I sincerely appreciated that. So thank you, brother."