Though the project has been moving at a slow pace for years, fans shouldn't give up on Gambit yet, according to Channing Tatum, the actor expected to star in the film since 2014. Gambit's only live-action appearance so far was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine where the character was portrayed by Friday Night Lights and John Carter star Taylor Kitsch. It was announced in 2014 that Gambit would be reintroduced into the X-Men franchise with a solo movie and a release date of October 7, 2016. Tatum was set to star, and at one point was expected to appear as the character in X-Men: Apocalypse, but this never panned out.
Despite the Cajun mutant's strong fanbase, some fans believe that Gambit was put on the backburner considering the number of projects in the franchise that are already in development. Three X-Men films are set for release in 2018 alone, none of which are Gambit: Deadpool 2, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and The New Mutants.
While promoting Kingsmen: The Last Circle at San Diego Comic Con 2017, Tatum was asked by ComicBook if he was still playing Gambit in the movie. This is what he had to say about the project:
“Yeah, of course. We're working on it right now."
"Right now" implies that progress on the film could be proceeding faster than fans had previously realized from all the delays. Indeed, just a couple of weeks ago Hutch Parker, who is involved as a producer of several X-Men films, told Screen Rant that there is still a "passionate interest" in the character.
The character's solo film has hit several bumps in the last three years. Rupert Wyatt signed on to direct, though scheduling conflicts caused him to drop out. His replacement, Doug Liman, also left the project over a lack of a "personal connection." The film is currently without a director, though hopefully one will be announced soon. Another update came in February when producer Simon Kinberg reaffirmed that Gambit is still in development and that filming was to begin in early 2018. Kinberg has stated that he expected the movie would be the first installment in a series of films about the character.
Further, when talking to CinemaBlend, Tatum said all these problems have actually helped and should lead to a better end product:
"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 X-Men were otherwise completely absent from SDCC this year, with Fox's panel being a Kingsman: The Golden Circle extravaganza, so fans will likely be happy to get this sliver of very exciting news.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Feb 14, 2019
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018
- New Mutants (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019