It looks as though we’re gonna have to be waiting a bit longer (again) on that Gambit movie. While 20th Century Fox finally looked to pull the trigger on the long-awaited spinoff with Channing Tatum attached to star in and produce the pic, finding a director for the project proved difficult as its planned October 2016 loomed closer. Rise of the Planet of the Apes helmer Rupert Wyatt eventually signed on to direct, but then departed the project a few months later, starting the director search anew. That’s when Edge of Tomorrow and The Bourne Identity director Doug Liman signed on, but now as further script development has already scrapped the October 2016 release date, filming—which was originally supposed to get underway in New Orleans this month—is being pushed back all the way to the end of 2016 while work continues.
In the meantime, Liman is aiming to keep busy, and THR reports that he’s now in negotiations to direct the small-scale psychological thriller The Wall for Amazon Studios. The film revolves around a sniper and his spotter who are pinned down behind cover by a legendary sniper, and its script was penned by Dwain Worrell, who wrote the screenplay on spec while teaching English in China and submitted it blindly when he heard Amazon was accepting open submissions.
Liman plans to knock the film out with filming starting in late spring/early summer before then returning to pre-production on Gambit, while Tatum’s producing partner and Magic Mike scribe Reid Carolin is handling rewrites on the X-Men spinoff. Producer Simon Kinberg previously described the picture as a “sexy heist thriller,’ but it’s unclear if the rewrites have to do with finding the right tone or if they’re plot/character-centric. And while a casting search finally nabbed Lea Seydoux as the film’s female lead, Belladonna, THR notes that her involvement in the picture is unclear given that it’s been pushed back so significantly.
Clearly Fox is still keen on making Gambit happen, and it appears as though Liman is as well, but it sounds like all involved want to get the script in top shape before moving forward. Fox is no doubt hammering out the details on Deadpool 2 and the X-Men franchise will likely continue after X-Men: Apocalypse, but as of now it looks like the studio may suffer a bit of a lull in terms of superhero films given that these pictures are still deep in development, and Fantastic Four didn’t pan out as expected.
As for Liman, he’s already got another film in the can, the drug thriller Mena starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson, which is set for release in January 2017, and he, Cruise, and screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie have been actively developing an Edge of Tomorrow sequel. The guy stays busy.