Well here’s a curious development. After 20th Century Fox’s Channing Tatum-fronted X-Men spinoff Gambit lost director Rupert Wyatt, the studio tapped Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow helmer Doug Liman to direct. However, the project kept seeing delays as further work was being done on the script, with the most recent push delaying filming from early 2016 to late 2016 or early 2017. Liman chose to keep busy while the script was further developed, signing on to helm the small-scale sharpshooter standoff film The Wall with Aaron Taylor-Johnson, but now Liman is eyeing yet another project that puts his future with Gambit in doubt.
Per THR, the Mr. and Mrs. Smith director is in talks to tackle Lionsgate/Summit’s post-apocalyptic YA thriller Chaos Walking, based on the Patrick Ness novel of the same name. What makes this far different from your standard YA adaptation, however, is the fact that Oscar-winning Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind scribe Charlie Kaufman penned the screenplay, although Jamie Linden (Money Monster) penned the most recent draft.
The story takes place in a world devoid of women, where all living creatures can hear one another’s thoughts “in a stream of images, words and sounds called Noise.” When a young boy suddenly stumbles upon a silent young girl, the two set off on a dangerous journey full of twists and turns. Robert Zemeckis was previously attached to the property, but now it sounds like Liman may be taking over with production aiming to get underway in the fall.
What does this mean for Gambit? We don’t know, exactly, but I wouldn’t be shocked if we hear Liman is no longer directing that film. The project seemed rearing and ready to start filming last fall as casting was underway, but for one reason or another Fox pumped the breaks. Although it’s better to move forward when you’re sure the script is solid rather than racing towards a release date with something that’s not ready, especially a film as highly anticipated by comics fans as Gambit.
Liman most recently directed the drug smuggling pic Mena with Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson, and the filmmaker is certainly keeping busy with all this buzz coming off his spectacular sci-fi pic Edge of Tomorrow, for which a sequel is in development. Again, Liman’s amassing quite the crowded dance card, and while we don’t have official confirmation he’s off Gambit, today’s news doesn’t seem to bode well.