Fox’s Gambit movie now has a production designer, with regular Coen Brothers collaborator Jess Gonchor having landed the gig. The two-time Academy Award nominee has an impressive resumé, which includes True Grit, A Serious Man, No Country for Old Men, Burn After Reading, Inside Llewlyn Davis, Live by Night, Away We Go, The Devil Wears Prada, and the Coens’ upcoming Netflix series The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, among other movies/TV shows.
Director Gore Verbinksi, who boarded this X-Men spinoff movie last month, previously worked with Gonchor on The Lone Ranger. Gonchor also has prior form with Channing Tatum, who's set to play the film's card-throwing protagonist Remy LeBeau; having worked alongside him on Foxcatcher, Moneyball and Hail, Caesar!. However, this will be Gonchor’s first collaboration with Oscar-winning costume designer Jenny Beavan, who has also signed on for Gambit duties.
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Omega Underground broke the news about Gonchor joining the Gambit team, noting that more casting information and crew hirings should be announced in the near future. The film is slated for a February 2019 release, with filming expected to kick off early next year. Gonchor’s appointment is a crucial step in getting the movie made, at long last, meaning that the look and physical feel of the film can now begin to come together.
Considering that Gonchor has worked on a lot of gritty Coen Brothers dramas, in addition to the fact that Jenny Beavan designed the costumes for Mad Max: Fury Road, it’s easy to assume that Gambit is gearing towards a grounded, grungy aesthetic. This chimes nicely with the news that some Gambit scenes will be shot on location in New Orleans, which lends itself to a more true-to-life feel than a studio back lot. Certainly, a ragged and realistic visual style would help banish audiences’ memories of the previous live-action Gambit adaptation: as fans will remember, Taylor Kitsch played the part in the green-screen-heavy nightmare X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
However, it is worth remembering that director Gore Verbinski has a very varied list of films under his belt. As well as the shot-on-location 2016 thriller A Cure For Wellness, he has also helmed comedies (like Nic Cage’s The Weather Man) and studio behemoths including the first three Pirates of the Carribean films. He’s a tough man to put in a box and could well be cooking up something utterly unexpected with Gambit.
Fox’s X-Men spinoffs Deadpool and Logan showed that the studio is willing to take some risks and try new things with its solo mutant movies. By appointing the likes of Verbinski, Beavan and now Gonchor – none of whom have been previously associated with comic book movies – it’s clear that the studio wants Gambit to break the mold as well. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Source: Omega Underground
- Gambit (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019