We’re Never Going to Get a Channing Tatum Gambit Film, Are We?
Not even an exploding playing card can get Remy LeBeau out of movie jail.
It’s been 84 years since Fox announced plans for a Gambit solo film starring Channing Tatum as everyone’s favorite Cajun mutant. Gambit had appeared briefly in 2009’s dismal X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where he was played by Tim Riggins himself, Taylor Kitsch. And while Tatum’s turn in the role was announced nearly five years ago, the film has been beset by problems ever since.
It’s a puzzling outcome, considering that Fox seems to have zero problem churning out X-Men movies. How does the Dark Phoenix storyline have TWO separate movies and Gambit can’t get a break? Tatum remains a big star and a box office draw, and the film has seen a slew of talented A-list directors come and go, including Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Edge of Tomorrow) and Gore Verbinski (the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise).
Rupert Wyatt, who was originally attached to direct, discussed his vision of the film in an interview with Collider. Wyatt, who directed Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Gambler, had a script for the film and had cast Lea Seydoux (Spectre) as Bella Donna Boudreaux.
But Wyatt revealed that the failure of Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot, directed by Josh Trank, killed any hopes of a solo Gambit outing. Wyatt said, “Fantastic Four came out, did not do very well for Fox, [and] they decided to lower our budget. We were 12 weeks out, we couldn’t recover. The script needed a huge amount of rewriting in order to fit that budget, and ultimately the powers that be chose not to go down that road, so the film didn’t happen.”
Wyatt had high hopes for the film, which he described as “a really exciting sort of Godfather with mutants set in the world of New Orleans with different gangs.” Since then, the film has been shuffled through different genres: mob movie, heist film, crime thriller, and (most recently) romantic comedy.
As of now, all future plans for the X-Men franchise have been put on hold in the wake of the Disney-Fox merger and all those original Marvel properties returning to the studio. And that’s too bad, because Wyatt’s vision for the film sounds like a fun 70s-set heist film. He explained the movie’s evolution:
“Yeah [a heist film] of a sort. I mean it was a period film. It dealt with the 70s up until the present day. It was about kind of mutant gangs and the notion of what it means to belong, tribalism in this bayou-like environment. The swamps of New Orleans. So it would’ve been a lot of fun. I know Channing sort of worked on the script to make it into more of a romantic comedy, I think. Which I read and it was great, it was very different to what I was involved in. But now Disney have the reins so I don’t know what their plans are.”
In addition to working on the script himself, Tatum is also interested in taking over as the director. It will be interesting to see what aspects of the Fox Marvel films Disney takes on versus what they leave behind.
Disney has already committed to keeping the R-rated Deadpool in their stable (and why not? the films are massive hits), but the future of R-rated Marvel movies may be up in the air.
Maybe we’ll see a Gambit film one day, but I wouldn’t bet my kinetic playing cards on it.
(via Collider, image: Marvel)
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