Although officially it still has a release date of March 13th 2020, it seems very clear at this point that 20th Century Fox’s long-gestating X-Men spinoff Gambit is never going to see the light of day.
First announced back in 2014, the Channing Tatum-headlined project has passed through the hands of multiple directors – Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) and Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) – and now one of those has elaborated on why the film failed to move forward under their watch.
Speaking to Comics Beat while out on the press rounds for his new film Captive State, Rupert Wyatt explained that he was about two months out from starting production on Gambit when his plans were derailed thanks to the disastrous reception to Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot.
“I was very close with Channing Tatum and his producing partner Reid Carolin, and I was on the script with him and Josh Zetumer as a writer,” said Wyatt. “We were close, I believe 10 weeks away. It simply came down to budget. There was not enough. You know all too well about the politics of the business.”
“Fantastic Four had been released by Fox a month before and had not gone well for them, so our budget was slashed quite considerably,” he continued. “The inevitable, from my perspective was, ‘Well then we need to rewrite the script to tailor to our budget,’ but we were too close to a start date for Fox to really want to go there, so unfortunately, it just didn’t work out.”
Meanwhile, speaking to Collider, Wyatt offered some insight into his take on Gambit, describing it as “a really exciting sort of Godfather with mutants set in the world of New Orleans with different gangs”
“A heist film of a sort,” said Wyatt. “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. I know Channing sort of worked on the script to make it into more of a romantic comedy, I think. Which I read and it was great, it was very different to what I was involved in. But now Disney have the reins so I don’t know what their plans are.”
Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox is expected to complete this coming week, which will presumably mark the final nail in the coffin for this iteration of Gambit, although it is of course always possible that Marvel Studios could stick with Tatum if and when Remy LeBeau makes his MCU debut.