‘Gambit’ seems mired in development hell.Photo credit: Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com
In 2013, Channing Tatum was white hot after the smash success of ‘Magic Mike’ and when he publicly expressed interest in playing Gambit, 20th Century Fox took the bait and approached the actor about a solo film.
Unfortunately, since then, things have been moving very slowly. It actually took Tatum over a year to finalize a deal in 2014, but just last year, it was rumored that he was on the verge of leaving due to delays. After Tatum had officially signed on, the film couldn’t seem to find a director, with ‘Edge of Tomorrow”s Doug Liman finally agreeing to helm it… only to push the production further back as he took on other projects, including Lionsgate’s adaptation of YA novel ‘Chaos Walking’.
Will ‘Gambit’ ever actually get made?
Producer Simon Kinberg assures that the film is still coming, but unfortunately doesn’t offer anything concrete as to an official start date. He does, however, caution that Fox simply wants to make the best ‘Gambit’ movie possible.
After all, as successful as ‘Deadpool’ was, it was a risk for Fox, who wasn’t confident in the character or Reynolds, offering only a tiny shoestring budget. ‘Deadpool’, of course, shattered expectations and raked in millions for Fox, whereas the much more high-profile, more expensive ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’, which Fox was 100% on board with floundered.
It sounds as if the studio is reassessing its approach and ultimately, that may make for a better ‘Gambit’ film.
As Kinberg says:
“I think the truth is when you have these movies that need a very special and unique tone, it takes a little while to find that tone…’Deadpool’ feels like it exploded out of nowhere, but it was a 10-year development process on that movie. I think it was honed over those 10 years.”
“I hope that ‘Gambit’ doesn’t take 10 years, but it takes a little honing to get that tone and that voice exactly right. The character has such a specific voice in the comic in the same way that ‘Deadpool’ has a specific voice in the comic, that we want to make sure that we capture that voice on the page. Really it’s just about getting a screenplay that is worthy of that character, and I think we’re really close right now.”
Well, at least that’s optimistic, although I absolutely guarantee that ‘Deadpool’ was NOT in development that whole time. It wasn’t until Reynolds personally paid for a custom Deadpool costume and started posting images and videos on social media that Fox entertained the notion of dusting off this character for the big screen. And that process moved along at lightning speed.
But it’s nice that they want the best script possible before they jump into production. But at this rate, Liman and Tatum may lose interest and move on to other projects. In addition, Tatum may wind up aging out of the role.
One last note, following the underwhelming performance of ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ (and the dismal failure of last year’s ‘Fantastic Four’), there have been RUMORS of Fox entering an agreement with Marvel Studios, similar to the one Sony landed resulting in the jointly-produced ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Recently, FOX (the TV channel, not the studio) announced plans to develop an X-Men TV series in association with Marvel TV, which slightly lends some support to this. However, it should be pointed out that Marvel TV and Marvel Studios are separate entities, so take that with a grain of salt.
Do you still want to see a ‘Gambit’ movie? Are Liman and Tatum the team you want behind it?