Gambit: Doug Liman Didn't Feel 'Personal Connection' with the Film

Director Doug Liman explains why he stepped down as director on the slow-developing X-Men movie franchise spinoff, Gambit.

Gambit movie director shortlist

Director Doug Liman has explained why he left the slow-developing X-Men spinoff Gambit. A longtime X-Men comic book favorite, Remy LaBeau/Gambit, amazingly, has only shown up in the live-action film series once, played by Taylor Kitsch in the first mutant movie spinoff, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The star of the fan-maligned 2009 film, however, was clearly Hugh Jackman, and Kitsch, while solid in a supporting role, never got a chance to reprise the character in another film (unlike Ryan Reynolds, who righted a total wrong by finally getting to redeem  Deadpool last year).

There have been opportunities for other actors besides Kitsch to play the Cajun card-slinger, namely Channing Tatum. The Gambit film, which was supposed to be released in 2016 at one point, has been in a constant state of flux for the past couple of years, and things got even more complicated when Edge of Tomorrow helmer Liman stepped down as Gambit's director last August to sign on to direct DC's Justice League Dark, instead.

In an interview with We Got This Covered for his new film The Wall, Liman offered up the reasons why he couldn't stay committed to Gambit:

"I look for a personal connection to the movies I make and it may not be immediately obvious. You know, like what’s my connection to Jason Bourne? I have a deeply personal connection to that movie because it’s all about Iran-Contra and my father ran the investigations into Iran-Contra. In every story I have a personal connection. The Wall, you’d be like what could this filmmaker from New York possibly have in common with these two soldiers pinned down in Irag? But The Wall is really about perseverance. It’s about picking yourself up and you just keep going and that’s something I have firsthand experience with. Not in war but in other aspects of life. With Gambit, I just never found that personal way in. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t."

Tom Cruise and Doug Liman filming Edge of Tomorrow
Tom Cruise and Doug Liman on the set of Edge of Tomorrow

With films like The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Edge of Tomorrow to his credit, there's no arguing Liman's talent as a director, and there's no question he would have made Gambit something worthwhile, if his heart were in it. We'll never know how Gambit would have turned out with a half-committed Liman, but he certainly did the right thing by not taking the risk of taking the gig and risking his stellar reputation as a director.

But what is a big loss for X-Men fans is a big win for others; especially since Liman's developing a "smaller, personal" Justice League Dark movie and is planning to return for Edge of Tomorrow 2 (now officially titled Live Die Repeat and Repeat) with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in tow. However, just because Liman is returning to a unique concept of living a day over and over again, don't expect Liman to relive the day where he said "Yes." to Gambit. That day appears to be far, far behind him.

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Source:  We Got This Covered

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