Even in the best of circumstances, motion pictures based on superheroes or comic book characters can have complex and often troubled production histories. There are a lot of complex technical issues to wrestle with and the high production budgets can make studio executives jumpy when delays inevitably occur.
But even in the universe of superhero films, the movie “Gambit” is proving to be a world-class challenge. But despite the success of the “X-Men” movies and the star power of Channing Tatum, Fox is struggling to get the movie “Gambit” into production.
The playing card-wielding Gambit is a core character in the X-Men comics, but has only appeared in films once, as part of the cast in the poorly-received “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” Channing Tatum was supposed to play the character in that film but exited due to a conflict with his starring role in “G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra.” Taylor Kitsch stepped in to play Gambit and only managed to receive generally bad reviews for his trouble.
Fox and Tatum have been attempting to get the solo “Gambit” film off the ground since 2014, but the project has been plagued with production delays and casting problems. Now the film has just lost its third director, with “Pirates of the Caribbean” director Gore Verbinski exiting the project following some “scheduling problems.” As a result, Fox is on the hunt for a new director and as a result, has pushed back the film’s release date from the spring of 2019 to the summer.
The real question now is whether “Gambit” will ever be made. Aside from the challenge of finding a new director, the movie reportedly has a budget larger than hit movies such as “Deadpool” and “Logan.” And given that the character of Gambit is not exactly a household name, Fox may ultimately decide to cut its losses and move on to the next film. If it does, “Gambit” will join other abandoned comic book movies like “Magneto,” “She-Hulk” and “Plastic Man.”
20th Century Fox has been responsible for the release of Deadpool and X-Men Apocalypse this year. Both movies have been extremely successful as far as the box office numbers go.
Deadpool was easily the more successful of the two movies that were released, but now the studio is working towards future movies in the franchise, the next one being the third movie in the Wolverine solo series. This movie will reportedly be Hugh Jackman’s last time playing the role of the titular character. Beyond that, there are several other projects being developed beyond the last Wolverine movie.
Currently, there are three different X-Men spinoffs in the works now, which are a Deadpool 2 film, a New Mutants film and Gambit, which actor Channing Tatum is still attached to. Interestingly enough, Simon Kinberg is set to begin working on the next main X-Men movie in the film series, and he even spoke on the schedule of what’s going to happen for future movies at the 2016 Saturn Awards.
Kinberg, who worked as the screenwriter and producer for X-Men: Days of Future Past and Apocalypse, praised director Josh Boone’s work on the script for New Mutants and added that he liked the script for Gambit and hoped that shooting for the movie would start early next year.
As far as the sequel to Deadpool, Kinberg suggested that would likely be shooting also early on in 2017 so it could be released that fall.