In the wake of last summer’s ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’, which concluded a trilogy that began in 2011 with ‘X-Men: First Class’, the franchise is shifting its focus from the so-called core films to a slate of spinoffs and side projects. The slate of upcoming X-films currently includes ‘Logan‘, ‘Deadpool 2‘, and ‘The New Mutants‘, all of which are targeted for release over the next two years. But if you’ve been following the franchise for any amount of time, you may have noticed a rather conspicuous absence from that list.
20th Century Fox actually has several ‘X-Men’ projects in one stage of development of another, but the one that I’m referring to is ‘Gambit’, a spinoff that was set to feature Channing Tatum in the title role. The film was originally been set for an October 7, 2016 release. Obviously, that didn’t happen. After a number of setbacks (including the loss of not one, but two directors), ‘Gambit’ was quietly removed from the slate. In the months since, it’s largely been radio silence, leading many to suspect that the project had been scrapped altogether.
But maybe not. While promoting the upcoming FX series ‘Legion’ (itself an ‘X-Men’ spinoff) at this week’s Television Critics Association presentation, Lauren Shuler Donner (who has served as a producer on every ‘X-Men’ film to date) confirmed to Buzzfeed reporter Jarett Wieselman that despite the film’s troubles, Channing Tatum is still attached to play Gambit “in a standalone ‘X-Men movie”. While not the most substantial update in the history of entertainment journalism, Donner has effectively confirmed that the film is still in development, and that whatever other troubles it may have encountered, it still has a star. Given the work that has clearly gone into the film so far (as evidenced in a variety of casting announcements and the reports of Tatum’s prep work), it would be a shame to see it fall by the wayside.
But hey, in the worst case scenario they can always give Taylor Kitsch a call, right?
The next entry in the ‘X-Men’ film franchise, ‘Logan’, will be in theaters on March 3, 2017. Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for news on this and other upcoming ‘X-Men’ films as it develops.