In 2014, Channing Tatum was excited to explore superhero genre when he was offered the role of Gambit in a standalone movie based on the Marvel character. He has been pushing himself to prepare for the role, chatting with his fans to give him feedback and X-Men crowd was also cheering for him to bring this bad-ass mutant alive onscreen. He has the unique ability to tap into the object’s potential energy and transform into kinetic energy by his sheer touch.
But the project hit a massive roadblock, as Doug Liman who was at the helm has decided to call it quits. He called it as “mutual parting of ways.” Apparently, he is joining the DC’s bandwagon and would be directing a movie based on DC’s Justice League Dark series. He is also signed to direct the sequel to the Tom Cruise-Emily Blunt 2014 starrer Edge of Tomorrow. This is just the latest in an exodus of Directors who were once attached with the Gambit project decided to move on and chart a different course. From Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) to JV Chandor to Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), they cut off ties with the studio amidst endless delays and last-minute changes. In fact, over a period of time Channing Tatum who is the lead lost interest in the project and he kept signing up new movies with each passing month. Moreover, the buzz is about Deadpool sequel and New Mutants along with another untitled X-Men property for TV.
But, according to THR, “Fox is still planning on moving forward with the film and is currently looking for a replacement director.”
Simon Kinberg, an executive producer recently said in an interview – “Gambit will have its own different flavor and tone to it, further it will be more of like a heist movie and a sexy thriller in a way.”
All of a sudden Channing Tatum is charged about the possible Gambit movie. He was recently seen in SDCC 2017 for Kingsman: The Golden Circle and he was asked about the status of Gambit project, according to him it is very much alive and in the making. He had an interview with ComicBook.com about the possibility of him playing a card throwing Cajun mutant in the future. His answer was brief but clear. He said “Yeah, of course. We’re working on it right now.”
Over a period of time, the Gambit movie fell by the wayside due to failure on the part of studio to find a reliable director who won’t leave midway and demonstrate his commitment to the project. In an interview with CinemaBlend, Channing Tatum spoke about the creative possibilities for Gambit as Deadpool and Logan movies have opened up new opportunities that did’nt exist before. He said:
“I think we got super, super lucky. I think a lot of setbacks, we’ll look at them in hindsight as giant blessings. Because we were making it, [and] we’re writing a movie right at the turn of a paradigm shift in movies. So we got lucky that we didn’t just come out with ours, which I don’t think was fully formed. It was a good idea. We were going in the right direction. And then we got to learn from two really beautifully different kinds of a complete paradigm shifts…like Logan and Deadpool, I mean, they knocked down a lot of doors for us to be able to do things that we wanted to do in the first place.”
The larger question is Should Fox studio even continue with this project given the series of troubles around the production? Is it worth it? For a section of fans, this was a chance to make good the past mistakes done, as the character was horribly launched in X-Men: Origins played by Taylor Kitsch. But Fox is now more open to taking risk as Deadpool and Logan proved to be massive blockbuster hits and they were stand-alone movies based on popular superheroes. If Gambit can learn lessons from these two movies and add something original of their own, it can really do well at the box-office. Further, another X-Men movie based on “New Mutants” is coming which is described as a horror movie. Another movie based on Doctor Doom is currently in the works by Legion creator Noah Howley.
Recently, Marvel released release dates of six mystery movies – June 7, 2019, November 22, 2019, March 13, 2020, June 26, 2020, October 2, 2020, and March 5, 2021. Well, it seems Gambit could fill one of those slots. Hoping for the best. CHEERS!