Surprise, Gambit is still a thing! You’d be forgiven if the long-brewing X-Men spinoff slipped your mind as of late; Fox has been moving full-speed-ahead on unconventional superhero movies and offshoots of the core X-Men brand and after losing a series of directors Gambit seemed to stall out for a minute, but according to Deadline the studio has set their sights on a new director to helm the project.
Pirates of the Caribbean and A Cure for Wellness director Gore Verbinski is in talks for a deal to direct. Channing Tatum is still attached to star as Remy LeBeau, the playing card and staff-wielding New Orleans mutant with the power to manipulate kinetic energy. Tatum was first announced for the character way back at Comic-Con 2015, where he joined franchise stars Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Ryan Reynolds & Co. for Fox’s Marvel portrait. Since then, Hugh Jackman has retired the claws and Fox had a complete change in their approach to making superhero movies, spurred on by the success of Deadpool and Logan.
These days, the studio wants to make superhero movies that flip the genre on its head. They’re looking for new and different approaches to the well-worn genre, and that makes Verbinski one heck of a promising pick. Even when he’s making blockbuster crowd-pleasers and animated family films, Verbinski wears his weirdness on his sleeve. Heck, the first fifteen minutes of Rango feel like a Pinter play. He’s always been a tremendous visual director, and that’s another asset for Gambit‘s trademark colorful, kinetic action.
Doug Liman (American Made) and Rupert Wyatt (War for the Planet of The Apes) were both previously attached to helm the film. Wyatt exited in October 2015 after a “push in the start date” conflicted with another project. Liman signed on after him, but the film continued to be pushed and he exited in August 2016.
According to Tatum, the delays might have been the best thing for the film. “We got really lucky. We had a first draft it was good,” Tatum told Yahoo at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con “but we were coming to at a time at that creative phase of [the X-Men], where these movies went through a bit of a paradigm shift, where the X-Men movies and the superhero movies with Logan and Deadpool really broke down a lot of doors for us. We were trying to do some things that we actually weren’t allowed to do, and they just smashed down the doors, so we’re giving it a bit of a rethink.”
The release date for Gambit is TBD.