With the departure of Rupert Wyatt from the X-Men franchise solo film Gambit, Fox has been scrambling to find a new director for the film to keep it on schedule for its planned October 7, 2016 release. They might be a step closer as reporter Jeff Sneider tweeted yesterday that star Channing Tatum has been talking with 2014’s Edge Of Tomorrow director Doug Liman about taking over the project.
True that Channing Tatum has been courting Doug Liman to direct GAMBIT. We'll see if he goes for it though…
— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) October 18, 2015
Despite the poor box office it earned, Edge Of Tomorrow was a pretty spectacular film and I would love to see Liman step up and take on a superhero film. And given that Fox is currently hurting from the critical drubbing it received this past summer from their abysmal Fantastic Four reboot attempt, I would assume that the studio is certainly anxious to show that it can still make some good superhero films that aren’t helmed by Bryan Singer. (Singer’s latest X-Men film, Apocalypse, is set for theaters on May 26, 2016.)
But even more so, if the studio is hoping to keep the X-Men franchise an ongoing concern, it will need some of their proposed solo films to take up the slack now that it looks as if High Jackman’s next solo outing in a Wolverine film will be his last. Gambit is a rather popular character among X-Men comics fans, the studio is banking big that that popularity will crossover to general audiences once the character hits the big screen.
With shooting initially scheduled to begin this month, the originally announced October 2016 release date is in serious jeopardy and will very likely be moved, even if Liman were to sign today to direct. And that’s a big “if.” Liman is currently in a long post-production period for his thriller Mena, which doesn’t hit theaters until January 2017, and his commitments to that film may exclude him from shooting another picture in the meantime. And even if he were to free himself, he has been contemplating reteaming with his Edge Of Tomorrow star Tom Cruise for the futuristic lunar heist caper Luna Park which he has had in development since last year. What Liman chooses next to do may entirely depend on how convincing Tatum is or isn’t in getting him to take the Gambit directing gig.