The long-awaited Gambit solo movie has once again hit a snag on the way to production, this time losing director Gore Verbinski. The Ragin' Cajun has always been a popular character within the X-Men universe, but has struggled for years to try and star in his own film. Despite being a regular fixture in animated versions of the X-Men, Gambit has to date only appeared in one feature, that being the poorly received X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Channing Tatum - a huge fan of the character - was originally set to play Gambit in Origins, but had to bow out due to starring in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Tatum was replaced in that film by Taylor Kitsch, and considering its awful reputation, it seems to safe to say that the actor dodged a bullet. Tatum came back aboard for a Gambit solo movie in 2014, only for things to never come together for the project overall.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes helmer Rupert Wyatt was attached to direct Gambit in 2015, but left a few months later. Then The Bourne Identity's Doug Liman was brought on, only to leave as well. In late 2017, Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski agreed to take over the film, and a February 2019 release date was set by FOX. Following a few more small delays, production on Verbinski's Gambit was set to finally begin in March. Sadly, that won't be happening, as Deadline reports that the director has now exited the project due to scheduling conflicts.
With Gambit having now lost a third director, one wonders if the film will still proceed, and if so, how soon. FOX will once again have to go on the hunt for another director, and it's anyone's guess as to how long that process could take. After all, over an entire year passed between Liman exiting Gambit and Verbinski coming aboard. One assumes that the scheduled March production start will have to be called off, unless of course FOX can find a replacement director within the next two months. Even then though, said director would have to be fine with using the current script.
Despite these ongoing setbacks, Channing Tatum still remains attached to star in Gambit, whenever the movie actually gets made. Unless another director can be located quickly though, it might just be better to wait until after the Disney purchase of FOX is finalized. Then, Tatum's Gambit could conceivably make his debut in an MCU installment, and not have to carry his own film right off the bat. For now though, fans can only wait and see what FOX decides to do.
- Gambit (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020