A new rumor suggests that the much-delayed Gambit film, set to star Channing Tatum as the X-Men's Ragin' Cajun, may finally begin filming in February 2019.
Back in 2014, Fox cast Channing Tatum as the star of a Gambit solo movie that they expected to release two years later. Unfortunately, the project has proved to be unusually ill-fated. Director Rupert Wyatt joined up in summer 2015, even beginning the casting process, but was soon replaced by Doug Liman. Liman, too, left in the fall of 2016. It took Fox nearly a year to find another director, Gore Verbinski, but he left the project in early 2018. Gambit currently doesn't have a director, and although it's officially assigned a release date of June 7, 2019, there's pretty much no way it's going to hit it.
According to The GWW, though, Fox is still determined to make the film. They're reporting that the studio is once again trying to get filming up and running, aiming to begin production in New Orleans on February 15. The site suggests that they may choose to film at Big Easy Studios, where Fox previously shot films such as Logan and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
As The GWW note, this is a surprising rumor. Gambit currently has no director, and Tatum is now the only actor officially linked with the film. Meanwhile, looming in the background is the prospective Disney/Fox merger. That's been approved by United States regulators, and shareholders have voted in favor; while there are still a few international regulators yet to have their say, it's increasingly being viewed as a done deal. If that's the case, by mid-to-late 2019 the X-Men film license will have returned to Marvel Studios.
It's true that Disney has pledged to release all completed X-Men movies, but would that really include films that started production so late in the day? The other two Fox X-Men films are currently undergoing additional photography, and indeed X-Men: Dark Phoenix will drop in February, well before the merger is expected to be completed. If Fox do manage to start production on Gambit at last, the film will probably still be shooting when the merger is complete. That most definitely adds another layer of complexity.
If this rumor is indeed accurate, it won't be long before Fox announce a director again. That said, given Gambit's troubled history, it's best not to believe it will start shooting until the actors turn up on set.
Source: The GWW
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020