As we surmised might happen, Fox’s X-Men franchise spin-off Gambit, which is set to star Channing Tatum as the popular Cajun mutant superhero, has had its production delayed.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Gambit’s director Doug Liman is currently in discussions to helm the thriller The Wall, a project that he will use to fill the space on his schedule following the production of Gambit being pushed back to an unspecified later date. Why has the film, which was initially hoped to be in front of cameras right now, been pushed back? That would be because Liman recently brought aboard writer and Tatum’s production partner Reid Carolin to rewrite the script. Liman, of course, came onto Gambit back in November, replacing initial director Rupert Wyatt.
Last month, the studio removed the film from the schedule, leading many to surmise that the film was undergoing some creative revision.
Reportedly, The Wall is a small film and shouldn’t take up too much of Liman’s time. The Reporter is stating that Gambit is now set to start shooting close to the end of the year. But since that was the timeframe that the studio was looking to have the film in theaters, it is safe to assume that that date has been pushed into mid-2017 at best.
And while I applaud the studio for allowing Tatum, Liman and company the time to make sure the film is the best that it can be starting from its screenplay, it has to put a serious crimp in their plans to expand their X-Men franchise as quickly as they might like. This summer we’ll seethe latest installment in the main franchise, X-Men: Apocalypse. Next year will see the third Wolverine solo film on March 3. But that is the last trip to the well for the studio with that character, as star Hugh Jackman has stated his intention of moving on after the film wraps. Beyond that, the studio’s plans are less clear, though conceivably they could be dropping Gambit into a late 2017 spot. Fox has been developing a film based on the X-Men comic New Mutants, but outside of the hiring of director Josh Boone nearly a year ago, there has been little news.