Up until recently, not a lot of people had heard of Bassam Tariq, but that all changed when the filmmaker was announced to be directing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Blade reboot.
Star Mahershala Ali and producer Kevin Feige had spent six months interviewing candidates and taking pitches before they even hired Stacy Ossei-Kuffour to write the screenplay, so the process of finding the perfect candidate to step behind the camera would have been just as arduous.
Tariq is a relatively unknown quantity, with his feature debut Mogul Mowgli only releasing at the end of September, but in a new interview with Variety, the filmmaker explained how working with the movie’s leading man Riz Ahmed helped him prepare for the daunting jump into cinema’s biggest franchise.
“He’s just mining for the truth at every turn. He’s interrogating everything, to see how it can resonate and feel true. He’s not afraid of confrontation. What I love about him is he’s able to bring up and have difficult conversations. I learned so much on how to manage a set, work with actors. He was so damn kind and generous. He took the biggest risk, working with a first-time feature filmmaker.”
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Ahmed isn’t just one of his generation’s finest talents, but he’s also no stranger to the world of comic book adaptations having played Carlton Drake in Venom, so he may have even given Tariq a few pointers about how things operate on a big budget superhero blockbuster.
Blade is rumored to begin production in July 2022, with the unclaimed October 2023 release date heavily expected to bring the return of the Daywalker, and we’ll be very interested to see how the franchise’s latest unexpected directorial choice pans out.