The X-Men universe is in the midst of a renewed push to expand the universe beyond just the main team and Wolverine. This effort truly began when Deadpool was given his own film, and now there’s both a Deadpool sequel and spinoff in X-Force, in the works. With Logan sending off Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine next month, 20th Century Fox has another actor/character waiting for his own solo film: Gambit. Channing Tatum has been attached to star in Gambit for the past few years, but the project continues to struggle to make its way out of pre-production.
Most recently, director Doug Liman left Gambit and signed up to take on the Justice League Dark DC Comics adaptation, instead. Tatum has remained attached to star in Gambit throughout its various director changes, but those roadblocks have (naturally) affected the movie’s potential filming start date – and now, have pushed its production timetable back, yet again.
LRM spoke to producer (and possible writer/director of X-Men: Supernova) Simon Kinberg about the state of Gambit. He reiterated that the movie is very much going to happen and that Tatum is closely involved. However, he does not expect the movie to begin filming until 2018 at this point:
Channing is—in the best possible way—as committed and as rigorous about getting the character right as Ryan was with Deadpool and as Hugh was with Logan on this movie, and so it’s been about finding a filmmaker and someone who can capture that voice and hand it off to Channing. But he’s been a really critical part of the process, and we’re hoping that the movie—probably given his schedule—will be ready to go this year and probably shoot next year.
It should be good news to fans of Gambit that Fox still appears to be intent on making a Gambit movie eventually. At the same time though, this is a project that is continuously getting pushed further and further back. Originally, Fox had slated the film to hit theaters last year, which obviously did not happened. The film’s production start date has likewise changed multiple times, at this stage.
With Gambit now not expected to begin filming until 2018, it gives Fox plenty of time to find a director that will stick around for good. Given this potential schedule, there is no chance that Tatum’s solo movie hits theaters before 2019 at this point. With this movie only continuing to delay Tatum’s entry into the X-Men universe, it will be interesting to see whether or not he makes an appearance before the solo movie.
Gambit is not a well-known character to non-hardcore comic book fans and Tatum’s star power alone doesn’t guarantee great box office results. With this being the case, Fox could look to introduce the character in a movie before his solo film to get people excited for a Gambit movie. X-Force could be a prime candidate for this to happen, but there is no telling what tone and style Gambit will have and whether or not it would fit with X-Force. Either way, it continues to look like fans will have to wait even longer for Tatum’s debut as the character.
Header Image Artwork by Rinine @DeviantArt