The X-Men spinoff Gambit starring Channing Tatum has been delayed yet again. This is a project that 20th Century Fox has been struggling to get before cameras, despite numerous false starts.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, this time the delay has to do with Tatum’s producing partner Reid Carolin rewriting the screenplay. That gives director Doug Liman a window to direct the sniper thriller The Wall for Amazon Studios, their first original feature film.
But how did we get here?
Gambit originally started off as a passion project for Channing Tatum, as he kept saying he would love to play the Ragin’ Cajun. X-Men franchise producer Lauren Shuler Donner was really warm on the idea, and openly-agreed to have him play the role in a solo film without signing the actor.
The film was set to begin principal photography in 2015 with an October 2016 release. At first there was an issue with finding the right director, but eventually the production chose Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt who signed onto Gambit in summer of 2015, mere months before the movie was set to film.
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing, as rumors began circulating that there were negotiation disagreements with Tatum’s people, and the actor was threatening to leave the project. As it turned out, the studio and actor’s representatives were able to come to an agreement as 007 SPECTRE actress Léa Seydoux joined the project to play Belladonna Boudreaux.
A month before the shoot, director Rupert Wyatt dropped out due to creative differences with the studio. The scuttlebutt seemed to be that Wyatt wanted to make Gambit his own and rewrite the screenplay, but Fox didn’t want to abandon all control of the film. From the sound of it, my guess is that Wyatt didn’t want this film to be connected in any way, shape, or form with X-Men and Fox’s universe-building mutant franchise.
In November of 2015 Doug Liman was tapped to direct the film with a new production start date of Spring 2016. While Fox still seemed to think they could make the October 2016 release date, I had serious doubts because of the fast turn around time they would need for post-production. Earlier this year in February, the film was dropped from the schedule entirely, and three new Marvel and X-Men release dates were announced.
- Untitled Marvel film – October 6, 2017
- Untitled Marvel film – January 12, 2018
- Untitled X-Men film – July 13, 2018
With very recent news that the screenplay rewrites have pushed Gambit’s production start date to the end of 2016, it seems likely that it will be released on October 6, 2017 with Deadpool 2 hitting theaters in January 2018. That untitled X-Men film I’m going to wildly speculate will be the New Mutants (as Negasonic Teenage Warhead was wearing the New Mutants costume in Deadpool).
The good news for you Gambit fans is that the film is still happening. Probably. Unless there’s yet another delay.