The upcoming Blade is one of the most exciting Marvel Cinematic Universe projects, but it’s just recently suffered a major setback, as the reboot has lost its director. Bassam Tariq has been attached to the project for a while now, but he and Marvel have mysteriously parted ways just weeks before filming was planned to begin.
Regardless of why Tariq left the project, Marvel Studios now has to scramble to find a new director if it wants to meet the scheduled November 2023 release date. Redditors have some ideas on who could replace Tariq, and between some seasoned heavyweight directors, promising up-and-coming filmmakers, and some safe choices, they make some great arguments.
Redditor Centurion22rus thinks that Antoine Fuqua should take the reins. The Redditor posits, “Quick! What’s Antoine Fuqua doing? Maybe he’s both interested and available?” Fuqua hasn’t ever made a movie with fantastical or supernatural elements, and most of his movies are actually very grounded and emotionally demanding, such as Training Day and Shooter.
However, that might be exactly what the MCU needs right now, as the universe is currently getting criticisms about it being too comedy-oriented. A serious and gritty movie about a vampire hunter would make for a refreshing change of pace. The only thing that keeps Fuqua from being the perfect candidate is that his action directing is too broad and indistinctive.
User Guer0Guer0 wants Robert Rodriguez in the director’s chair for Blade. Rodriguez clearly has a great working relationship with Disney right now, as he has directed episodes of both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. However, it just so happened to be the worst episode of Boba Fett that he directed, with the action specifically being the episode’s low points.
That isn’t exactly a great resume when it comes to looking for a Blade director, but Rodriguez has so many great action flicks under his belt. The filmmaker has directed everything from the cult horror comedy From Dusk Till Dawn to the family-friendly Spy Kids franchise. Blade could be the perfect project for him to get back his mojo, and it’d be worth it just for the Dusk references that’d undoubtedly appear.
Redditor MIKE_THE_KILLER wants to see Barry Jenkins at the helm of the upcoming vampire movie. The Redditor comments, “I am hoping maybe Barry Jenkins would be a good replacement, the director that did Moonlight.” But in the short time that Jenkins has been a major filmmaker, he has never really been a director-for-hire.
The wrote and directed the Academy Award-winning Moonlight, and that was very much a personal story compared to what audiences want to see in the MCU. However, he is on board to direct the upcoming The Lion King prequel. And Jenkins is great at directing actors, and he has already directed Mahershala Ali (who will be playing the titular vampire hunter) to an Oscar win, so it’s already been proven that they work together well.
Reddit user DavidSpace suggests, “Dan Trachtenberg would do a great job.” Trachtenberg is just coming off the overwhelming success of the new Predator prequel, Prey, which has gotten universal acclaim. Even though that movie was part of a huge franchise, it still had a relatively low budget of $65 million, so what Trachtenberg pulled off was even more impressive. What he could do with an MCU budget three times that amount could be incredible.
The director has showcased how well he can build tension and direct anxiety-inducing sequences with 10 Cloverfield Lane too, which is a must when it comes to a Blade movie. However, as Trachtenberg worked on Prey for six years, it’s unlikely that he’d be willing to jump into the director’s chair of a movie that begins shooting in a few short weeks.
User Sleepy_Azathoth is the first and only Redditor to mention Lexi Alexander as a potential replacement for Bassim Tariq, pitching, “Want a badass Blade movie? Lexi Alexander.” Alexander doesn’t get the credit she deserves. While there are tons of great R-rated superhero movies, 2008’s Punisher: War Zone unfairly goes overlooked.
The pitch-black comic book movie looks exactly like the panels of the source material with its dark and grimy aesthetic, not to mention the brutal violence. As she’s already seemingly well-acquainted with the material and knows how to bring dark worlds to life, Alexander could deliver a sensational Blade movie.
Redditor Cranestoique comments, “They’ll announce that Ron Howard will replace in 5, 4, 3….” The Redditor is referring to the fact that Disney replaced Phil Lord and Chris Miller with Howard as the director of Solo: A Star Wars Story. However, even though the Redditor might be half-joking, Howard is one of many great choices for the movie.
While the filmmaker has made mostly sentimental dramas throughout his storied 45-year career, he has also directed phenomenal action sequences too. Between Apollo 13 and In the Heart of the Sea, Howard’s action directing is on another level. He also knows how to build tension better than almost any other director working today too.
F. Gary Gray
User Tita_zdes argues that blockbuster franchise director F. Gary Gray could put Blade back on course. Gray has proven for two decades now how great of an action director he is, as his first blockbuster movie was 2003’s incredibly overlooked remake of The Italian Job. Since then, he has hopped from one blockbuster franchise to the next, directing movies in both the Fast and Furious and Men in Black series.
Though those movies aren’t the best in their respective franchises, they deliver on everything fans want, and Gray has become a reliable director-for-hire who delivers the goods. And, ironically, as Marvel Studios seemingly hires filmmakers whose debuts were low-budget comedies, Gray’s first film was the hilarious Friday, even if that was 26 years ago.
Redditor MonthSquare comments, “Sam Raimi to rescue.” Raimi is just coming off a very recent MCU movie, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which was full of his distinctive comedy horror style. And while the 2022 movie’s tone was pretty divisive among general audiences, fans want more.
Fans have talked about which MCU movie Raimi could direct next ever since the multiversal film was released. However, while Blade undoubtedly needs a splash of horror, Raimi’s brand of horror comedy might not be the best fit, as that sensibility could undermine how brutal Blade really is.
User International-Two419 notes that Jordan Peele is the best filmmaker for the job. The Redditor bluntly states, “Get Jordan Peele,” as if the director is on standby for a “break glass in case of emergency” kind of scenario. If Peele was to direct any MCU movie, Blade would certainly be the best choice, but he’d likely want to make something along the lines of the R-rated 1998 original Blade film.
The original film was a gorefest filled with raves that turned into bloodbaths and had so much style, but given that the reboot will be PG-13, the project might not be best suited for the horror auteur. However, even though he seemingly exclusively works in the horror genre, Key & Peele showcases how great of a comedy writer is too, and those two sides of Peele could be the perfect balance for the MCU movie.
User Captaincavelrycam posits, “Calling it now: they are gonna replace him with Michael Giacchino.” If Michael Giacchino’s name sounds familiar, it’s because viewers will have seen his name in the credits of so many superhero and Pixar movies, but as a composer, not a director. Giacchino most recently composed the instantly iconic score for The Batman, but Kevin Feige entrusted him with directing the MCU Disney+ one-off special, Werewolf by Night.
Based on the trailer, the special is as close to R-rated as a PG-13 release can get. It looks terrifying and is filled with gore, which is exactly what Blade needs to be. And as early reviews are calling it the best MCU Disney+ release yet, it seems like Giacchino will be offered a lot more directorial work in the future.
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