Despite a long and uncertain journey not unlike his fellow X-Men Deadpool, it appears that the Gambit film is still very much on the slate of X-Men films actively in development by Fox. While showcasing the first trailer for X-Men: Dark Phoenix at CineEurope,, franchise producer Simon Kinberg confirmed that, along with New Mutants, the X-Men spinoff about Marvel's Ragin' Cajun is set for release next year.
The Gambit solo movie project was first announced in 2014 with actor Channing Tatum attached to play the card-throwing mutant. Gambit has been a member of several incarnations of the X-Men roster in Marvel Comics and has become both one of the most well-known and well-liked. Several actors were considered for the part, including Keanu Reeves and Taylor Kitsch, but Tatum was the fan-favorite and fought to get the film made in a similar way to how Ryan Reynolds fought for Deadpool. However, numerous setbacks have stalled the film's production. Three directors have been attached to the film and all have stepped away: Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow), and Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean). According to Kinberg, the hope is to land a director in time for production this summer. The Gambit script is finished, and it's one that both star Tatum and producer Kinberg "love."
According to Kinometro, Fox included Gambit on their slate of upcoming films set in their Marvel/X-Men universe during a presentation at CineEurope 2018. Details of the project, such as a specific release date, are still scarce.
While Kinberg's words are promising, it should be noted that Gambit was given plenty of attention early on, and was delayed nevertheless. It is quite possible that the project might suffer the same fate again. With the Disney/Fox merger still a possibility, there is no telling what may happen to Fox's X-Men franchises if Marvel Studios takes creative rein. The inclusion of characters like the X-Men in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is all but certain if the Mouse House acquires the rights. Given the Deadpool franchise's success, it would be hard to believe that the Fox-created universe would vanish completely but it does bring the future of characters like Gambit into ambiguity.
Gambit certainly has a lot of potential to make waves on the big screen. Like Deadpool, he is a fan-favorite character with poor prior treatment in film. Taylor Kitsch originally played Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine but neither that film nor that incarnation of the character resonated much with audiences. Many fans are hoping to see a film that more closely translates the character from the comics in the way that Deadpool did.
- Gambit (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020
- New Mutants (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019