Blade Director Bassam Tariq On Bringing The Character Into The MCU: ‘There Is No Blade Canon’

Blade director, Bassam Tariq, talks about the process of bringing Blade to the MCU.
Blade Mahershala Ali

Bassam Tariq, best known for his work on Riz Ahmed’s Mogul Mowgli, is ready to sink his teeth into Blade for the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Mahershala Ali starring as Blade, Marvel’s renowned vampire hunter who happens to be a day walking human-vampire hybrid.

In an interview recently, Tariq confirmed that he is indeed directing Blade. He also briefly spoke about how he’ll approach the character. Tariq mentions that he’s not too concerned with sticking to a specific canon because the character doesn’t really have a specific canon in the comics. That may be subject to opinion and that’s a story for another time.

Back in July, rumors spread about Tariq’s involvement in Blade, those rumors were confirmed to be true by Bassam Tariq himself on The Playlist Podcast.

“First of all, I can confirm that I am directing ‘Blade.’ Marvel is letting me do that. There might be, like, a Marvel sniper here somewhere pointing a gun at me or a redaction device or something,” Tariq said, adding: 

“What I will say it’s like, it’s not that I felt it was, I didn’t think that this was gonna happen. You know what I mean? Just to be very honest, I’m honored, and it’s a privilege. I’m here in service of Staci Osei-Kuffour, who is the incredible writer that’s writing the film. She wrote on Watchmen, she wrote also Pen15 and Power and The Morning Show, she’s just a phenomenal presence and a juggernaut in her own right, and Mahershala. For me, it’s really working in their service, and I think that’s how I’m trying to take it day by day because, to think of anything more is tough.”

Tariq also notes that Marvel takes “big swings for a big studio,” continuing: “I can’t say anything about it, but I’m so excited about what we’re doing like I’m so excited … and I can’t wait.”

Blade” was created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan, and first appeared in the pages of “The Tomb of Dracula #10 ” in July 1973. The character made his big-screen debut with the 1998 movie “Blade,” starring Wesley Snipes, which was a success that spawned two sequels. News of a new Blade movie was announced during the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, where it was revealed that Mahershala Ali would be taking over the role.

What Will Make The MCU’s Blade Different?

Some of you may be asking, how will this new “Blade” differ from what came before?

Regarding the Marvel Cinematic Universe approach to “Blade,” Tariq said: “What I can tease about it is that we care about character, it’s very important for me, and character is something that … I don’t think of genre, I think of character, and where our character has to go is gonna be really important.” He also had some interesting comments in regard to how the film might approach the canon of the character: 

“What’s so great is it’s not as boxed in as I think people imagine it to be, which I thought it was. But it’s quite exciting. And I think the reality is there no Blade canon. If you ever read the comics, they’re always changing. “Oh it’s this story, it’s this story.’ What’s the canon? It’s not like Peter Parker. His name is Peter Parker. In some comics, his name is Fred H. Blade, you know, instead of Eric Brooks. So it’s an interesting thing. Unfortunately, the runs never lasted that long, and there have been some interesting and exciting waves. But I can say it’s character first.”

I understand that some of you may be scratching your heads right now, I’ll be honest with you, he had me until he mentioned, “Fred H. Blade”. A vampire hunter named Fred does not seem very intimidating to me, also what does the ‘H’ stand for?

Putting Fred the Vampire Hunter out of my head for a moment, I understand where Tariq is coming from. From my understanding, he does not want to be confined to the limits of the source material. Delivering a fresh, unique story with substantial character development appears to be Tariq’s priority. As long as the movie’s good and does the character justice that’s fine with me.

mahershala ali talks blade

Are you excited to see Bassam Tariq’s take on Blade? Let us know in the comments. If you like what you’ve read and can’t wait for more, follow us on social media. Thank you for reading and have a good day. Remember, if you see any vampires, call Blade, don’t call Fred.


Source: The Playlist Podcast via Slashfilm


Moriba Forde

Moriba Forde

I'm a writer, Co-Founder, and CEO of Moriviews. I live in Trinidad, I have a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology but my real passions lie in literature and content spanning across film & television. I've been a pretty good writer for most of my life and I grew up in front of a TV and loved it. I decided to make a career combining my literary and analytical skills, and one day, God-willingly, I'll be making my own movies.