Gambit, the Channing Tatum-starring vehicle, has been through a tumultuous pre-production. Contradictory reports said that the leading star was close to dropping out of the title film to pursue other projects, but ended up closing the deal to appear as the Ragin’ Cajun. Lea Seydoux (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Spectre) would then be confirmed to play the lead female role in the film. Weeks after that casting, director Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Gambler) left the film either due to scheduling conflicts or creative differences.
Whatever the case may be, it left Gambit without a director, which in turn forced the production to be pushed back almost six months. However, there appears to be a new rumor that says Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, The Bourne Identity) may be in talks to direct the X-Men spin-off. More on the story here below.
According to Jeff Sneider of The Wrap, Tatum has been eyeing Liman to direct Gambit. Here’s the tweet,
Sneider is a reliable and trusted source, but even he is a bit hesitant to confirm that Liman will be the one to direct.
It’s not exactly clear why Wyatt really left the project in the first place. Word is that Wyatt was fully committed to the project, and Fox was never worried that they had another Josh Trank situation on their hands. The director wanted to rewrite Gambit in order “to conceive the world that he is filming,” but was unable to conceive the vision that the studio wanted. Of course this conflicts with the first story saying that Wyatt departed from the project due to scheduling issues. So it just depends on which story you believe.
But that still leaves Gambit without a director. Fox has already pushed the start date from October to the Spring of 2016, and unless they find a director soon, it’s very unlikely that they will be able to meet the October 7, 2016 date. In fact, shooting a film under such duress would only add to the pressure and ultimately hurt the quality, and Fox had made no mention of pushing the release date back a few months. But even if this does turn out to be nothing more than just a rumor, it still shows that the film has signs of life.
As of now, it appears that Liman is the only frontrunner. But with the way that Marvel is recruiting its filmmakers to direct their films, I think it may be better if Fox go with a more low-key lesser-known director to helm Gambit.
We will keep you posted on the story as it develops.
Liman reunites with Tom Cruise for the drug thriller Mena, which hits theaters on January 6, 2017.