Rupert Wyatt has shed some light on his previously planned Gambit movie, revealing that it would have been something more akin to The Godfather. The film has been plagued by numerous production delays since it was first announced in 2014. As well as frequently shifting release dates, there have been a host of directors attached over the years - including Doug Liman and Gore Verbinski. Wyatt, however, had been the first to come aboard.
With Channing Tatum signed on to both star and produce, Gambit was to be a more standalone installment in Fox's X-Men universe. More in line with Logan and Deadpool than X-Men: Dark Phoenix, it would have also helped further erase the panned X-Men Origins: Wolverine from continuity and fans' memories. Though producer Simon Kinberg remains passionate about the project, things remain up in the air. With the acquisition of Fox and the potential for the X-Men to join the MCU drawing ever closer, the decision is firmly in Disney's hands.
With Wyatt signing on in 2015, Lea Seydoux was added to the cast as the female lead and the film was only 10-12 weeks away from shooting when things fell apart. Wyatt previously revealed that Fox's Fantastic Four reboot was to blame. Speaking with Collider at SXSW, however, the director revealed new details as to what his once concrete Gambit film would have been. "Whatever happened after me with other directors, I have no idea. What I do know is that Channing Tatum and his producing partner Reid Carolin had an amazing idea of what that movie was going to be, and Josh Zeutemer, the writer, as well," he said. "It was terrific, it was a really exciting sort of Godfather with mutants set in the world of New Orleans with different gangs.”
Wyatt, who also stepped away from Showtime's Halo TV adaptation and is currently promoting his new film, Captive State, elaborated further when asked about previous reports of Gambit being a heist film. "Yeah [a heist film] of a sort. I mean it was a period film. It dealt with the 70s up until the present day. It was about kind of mutant gangs and the notion of what it means to belong, tribalism in this bayou-like environment. The swamps of New Orleans. So it would’ve been a lot of fun." He also revealed he had read the revised "romantic comedy" version of the script, which he deemed "great" but "very different" from what he had been involved in.
Wyatt's latter comments certainly line up with Kinberg's recent revelations regarding the films that influenced the Gambit movie. Whilst that news was met with a mixed reaction, fans will no doubt be dismayed to hear of the plans in place when Wyatt was attached. Though Wyatt doesn't go into specifics, the idea of different mutant factions colliding on a smaller scale and in a bid for dominance in New Orleans certainly an intriguing premise. Unlike the MCU, the X-Men universe has veered wildly across different genres in their films. From the R-rated comedic tendencies of Deadpool to the brutal Western that is Logan and even the rumored horror-based aesthetic of New Mutants, the franchise broke new ground on an increasingly repetitive formula. As such, if it had been allowed to go ahead, Gambit could have stood alongside them and finally the popular character the solo outing they've craved. Perhaps Tatum and Wyatt can make Disney an offer they can't refuse and bring the original project back to life. All fans can do now is hope that they finally get their wish when the X-Men do eventually enter the MCU, whatever form that ultimately takes.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020