For a mutant superhero who always seemed to be fortunate at cards, Gambit is having the worst luck at getting himself up on the big screen. The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that director Gore Verbinski has dropped out of Fox’s X-Men franchise spin-off, making him the latest in a line of helmers to have departed the project.
The movie, which has had Channing Tatum attached to play the titular lead since its inception, has been in the midst of assembling its cast ahead of a March production start in New Orleans. Fox has the film scheduled for a February 14 2019 release.
Verbinski had joined Gambit last October, sliding into a director’s chair vacated by Doug Liman. Liman, in turn, had replaced Rupert Wyatt.
There is no word as to reasons for Verbinski’s departure. However, if Fox wants to still have Gambit hit its Valentine’s Day 2019 release date, they will need to slot someone into position in a manner of days. Even then it will be a task for that replacement to bring themselves up to speed on the production and get themselves ready for that March shoot. Add to that the internal confusion and uncertainty of Fox going through all the regulatory hurdles towards its acquisition by Disney and you don’t have a very stable and suitable environment for this film to pass through production easily. It would not be surprising if Fox were to rearrange their X-Men franchise release schedule to give the film a bit more breathing room.