Filmmaker Bassam Tariq, known for his work on the Riz Ahmed-directed film Mogul Mowgli, is in negotiations with Marvel Studios to direct the film adaptation of the popular comic strip Blade. Oscar winner Mahershala Ali will play the titular vampire hunter.
According to Variety, when he comes on board, Tariq will be the sixth person of color to direct a film for Marvel Studios, alongside Ryan Coogler, Chloe Zhao, Destin Cretton, Taika Waititi and Nia DaCosta.
Playwright Stacy Osei-Kuffour is co-writing the film’s script with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. Created by writer Marv Wolfman, Blade first appeared in the 1973 comic book The Tomb of Dracula #10 as a supporting character.
He is a vampire hunter – half mortal, half immortal – trying to rid the world of vampires as a way to avenge his mother, who was killed by a vampire when she gave birth to him.
The character became popular when New Line adapted the strip in 1998 with Wesley Snipes on board, and the hit film followed with two sequels in 2002 and 2004. Actor-rapper Sticky Fingaz played the part in the 2006 television series.