Former Gambit director Doug Liman believes the X-Men spinoff film will still be made at some point. The X-Men movie franchise has certainly had its share of highs and lows in the past year. Following the disappointing returns and critical reaction to X-Men: Apocalypse last summer, the franchise bounced back big this spring with the definitive Wolverine movie Logan. Plus, in the studio’s obvious effort to reboot the franchise, it put the feature films New Mutants and X-Men: Dark Phoenix into play, and ordered the X-Men themed TV series The Gifted.
But while these three X-Men projects are taking big steps forward – and Fox additionally moving forward with Deadpool 2 – the long-gestating Gambit solo film seems to be running in place with no indication that it’s going into production anytime soon.
Perhaps the biggest blow to Gambit was the departure of Liman, who left the film last August to direct the DCEU film Justice League Dark. In yet another major turn of events, Liman left Justice League Dark in May to concentrate on Chaos Walking with Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland, as well as the Edge of Tomorrow sequel Live Die Repeat and Repeat.
Liman’s been vocal lately about why he left both projects, citing scheduling issues for Justice League Dark and saying he didn’t feel a “personal connection” with Gambit. Despite the misfortune that’s come to Gambit, Liman tells IGN that he believes the movie will still be made at some point:
“You know, it’s a crowded field of superhero films so the challenge for Gambit or any of those other movies is finding its unique space and its unique take. But, yeah, I think Simon Kinberg, who is producing it, is a great producer and he’ll create something great out of it.”
In addition to Kinberg’s involvement, Gambit’s ace in the hole is still Channing Tatum, who as of earlier this year, was still attached to star. But like Liman, it may be tricky scheduling the busy actor, who has several films in the works, including Kingsman: The Golden Circle for director Matthew Vaughn and Logan Lucky, which will re-team the actor with his Magic Mike director, Steven Soderbergh.
The studio certainly appears committed to making Gambit happen. In an interview earlier this week, X-Men franchise producer Hutch Parker told Screen Rant, “there’s still a desire and a passionate interest to see that movie made.” Whatever the case may be, Fox needs to announce a replacement for Liman soon to keep Tatum excited enough to remain with the project – and deal fans in on the long-awaited movie featuring the Cajun card-slinger.