A month ago, director Rupert Wyatt dropped out of Gambit, the X-Men spinoff starring Channing Tatum as the eponymous Cajun who can charge items with kinetic energy to make them explode (his weapon of choice is playing cards). Since then, the project has been surprisingly quiet (keep in mind that this movie was slated to begin shooting this month) on getting a replacement, especially since one would assume that this is a high-priority project for Fox, who would like to get as many superhero projects humming as possible, especially since Fantastic Four tanked.
Earlier today, Jeff Sneider tweeted out a rumor that Tatum might be eyeing Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman for the gig:
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
While Liman is no stranger to projects of this scale, his movies are notorious for having rough productions, and this is one that has already gone through the drama of having its star negotiate in the press and lose its director (although, in fairness, those two events were unrelated). While I hope that hiring Liman would make for a smooth project (I don’t wish headaches on any project), his work history suggests that it would be rough sailing to the film’s October 7, 2016 release date.
For Liman’s part, he seems content to keep working with Tom Cruise. There have been discussions about Edge of Tomorrow 2 and last month we reported that the two were considering Liman’s lunar heist film, Luna Park, which has been in development since 2014. Also, it’s possible that Liman might still be in post-production on the drama Mena, which opens January 6, 2017, so it will be interesting to see how he balances his schedule should he opt to take Gambit.
If he does take the gig, hopefully he’ll do something interesting with it, because Fox’s mutant side could really use some help. The X-Men franchise might be stuck in the 1980s, Wolverine is winding down, and Deadpool has the R-rated side of things. There’s a place for Gambit, and I hope that the director for the job knows how to make him fit in a larger mutant universe for the studio.