Director Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) has left Gambit, the X-Men spinoff set to star Channing Tatum as the card-slinging, Bo staff-wielding mutant who harnesses the power of Kenetic energy. Wyatt signed on to the project last summer, and remained with the project through the potential loss of Tatum in the lead, but THR reports that script issues have caused the film’s budget to skyrocket, prompting Wyatt’s exit from the film.
Update: 20th Century Fox has release an official statement from Wyatt regarding his departure from the film.
“I was very much looking forward to working with my friend Channing and the team at Fox, but regrettably a push in the start date now conflicts with another project. I thank them for the opportunity, and I know that Gambit will make a terrific film.”
In the statement, Fox also confirmed that the film is still moving forward, with plans to begin in early 2016, and to expect a new director soon. Indeed, production on Gabmit was originally slated to begin next month, but now that the production has been pushed to next year, it seems Wyatt has a conflict that can’t be resolved. No official word on what prompted the delay, but given recent reports about the balooning budget, it’s a safe bet that the script is being re-worked to keep the cost levels in check.
There’s no doubt that Gambit is a priority project for the studio, who needs a star-powered leading man to carry their Superhero universe once Hugh Jackman leaves the claws behind after the next Wolverine film. Indeed, while at TIFF, producer Simon Kinberg teased the possibility of a Gambit crossover with Deadpool and X-Men that would see the development of yet another shared cinematic universe. We recently reported that the leading lady role of Belladonna Bourdreaux was Lea Seydoux‘s for the taking, but it’s possible that the change in schedule may cause a shake up in the casting department as well.
What are y’all’s thoughts? Sad to see Wyatt depart from Gambit? Now that Fox is on the hunt for new directors, who would you like to see step up to the helm? Sound off in the comments below.