Marvel did not comment.
Feige, Ali, and studio executives have met with a dozen applicants since the fall, at one point considering writer-director options before finally splitting the two and typing Osei-Kuffour to write the script. Since being hired, Marvel has shortened its list of possible director picks and started another round of meetings that started in March and continued through June. Those who did the final cut met and made their final presentations during this time, and in the end, it was Tariq’s vision that ultimately won all parties.
“Blade” rebooted by Marvel with Mahershala Ali; “Fantastic Four” also in preparation
Tariq is the sixth person of color to direct a film for Marvel, joining Ryan Coogler, Chloe Zhao, Destin Cretton, Taika Waititi and Nia DaCosta, the latter of whom was recently appointed director of the Captain Marvel after. Feige’s mission in recent years has been to diversify not only the actors appearing in front of the camera, but those behind as well, and recent hires have proven it.
Plans for a new incarnation of the character of Blade, played by Wesley Snipes in a film series in the early 2000s, were revealed during Marvel’s earth-shattering presentation at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019.
Created as a supporting character by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan, Blade first appeared in Tomb of Dracula No.10 in 1973, becoming a cult favorite. He is a human-vampire hybrid thanks to his mother bitten and killed by a bloodsucker during childbirth. The character rose to stardom in the ’90s when New Line adapted the comic with Snipes on board to star, with two sequels after the hit film.
Hiring Tariq also matches Marvel’s identification of promising young talent early in the directing arena, just as they did with Taika Waititi after her directing. Hunt for Wilderpeople. Tariq’s only major film to date is the critically acclaimed film Mogol Mowgli, with Ahmed.
Tariq is replaced by Range Media Partners, WME and lawyers Daniel Passman and Tara Kole.