Blade director Q&A: Bassam Tariq on working with Marvel, his favorite games and more

MCU fans made a collective shrug when news broke earlier this summer that Bassam Tariq, the documentarian behind These Birds Walk and Ghosts of Sugar Land, had been signed to direct Marvel’s Blade, starring Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali. But this relatively quiet and underground filmmaker has quickly caught the attention of the biggest names in blockbuster cinema.

Tariq, a Pakistani immigrant who grew up in New York and Houston, has been known in arthouse circles for making serious films about the diaspora experience, exclusion and politics. His most recent film, Mogul Mowgli, starring Academy Award winner Riz Ahmed, deals with an almost famous Pakistani-British rapper who succumbs to a mysterious disease that stops his career at a critical point. It’s a movie about warring identities and partitional trauma, one wrapped in a 4:3 package that’s both surreal and anxiety-ridden.

Mogul Mowgli finally saw its U.S. theatrical premiere back in September at the Film Forum in New York. Tariq was on-hand to talk about both Mogul Mowgli and Blade with Tom’s Guide. (Full disclosure: Bassam Tariq is a long-time friend, as we grew up together.)

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