The rumored director for Marvel's Blade movie has been confirmed – by the man himself.
Bassam Tariq, the indie director behind films including Mogul Mowgli and Ghosts of Sugar Land, had reportedly been tapped to helm the vampire superhero's first MCU adventure.
Now, Tariq has seemingly confirmed that he'll be directing the Mahershala Ali-starring Marvel flick in the latest episode of The Playlist Podcast, even though Marvel are yet to officially reveal that he will.
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When asked about the film, Tariq said: “I didn’t think [Blade] was going to happen, just to be very honest. I’m honored and it’s a privilege, but I’m here in service of Stacy Osei-Kuffour, who is the incredible writer that is writing the film.
"She’s just a phenomenal presence and a juggernaut in her own right. And for Mahershala [Ali]. For me, it’s really just working in their service.”
We've reached out for comment from Marvel Studios and Disney, and we'll update this article if we receive a response.
Analysis: has Tariq revealed his Blade involvement ahead of schedule?
Honestly? We don't think Tariq has done so.
On the one hand, it appears that he has. Marvel hasn't confirmed that Tariq will direct Blade's MCU movie and, based on previous cast and crew announcements, the studio will want to retain control on that front.
However, we've known that Tariq is (or was) the frontrunner for the director's chair since back in July. Per Deadline, Tariq was installed as Marvel's top choice to helm Blade after the studio's executive team interviewed dozens of candidates.
While Marvel chose not to comment on Deadline's report, it appeared that Tariq's vision for the film won over the likes of Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. If that's the case, Tariq should already have the job so this latest revelation won't come as much of a surprise.
It wouldn't be wise for Tariq to confirm that he's secured the role without Marvel's consent, too. As Marvel movie and TV show leaks become increasingly common, cast and crew members have been more coy about their involvement in such projects.
You only have to look at someone like Emilia Clarke who, while she's set to appear in Marvel's Secret Invasion TV series, is "already scared" about giving any major spoilers away.
So it wouldn't be in Tariq's best interests to confirm his involvement in Blade if Marvel hadn't given him the go-ahead. For that reason, we suspect that someone must have told him it was okay to talk about being Blade's director even if he hasn't officially been announced yet.
Hopefully, with Tariq verifying as much, it won't be long before Marvel or Disney makes the reveal official either.
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As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.
An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.
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