The long-gestating Gambit movie has just hit another huge snag. Director Gore Verbinski, best known for his work on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, has exited the project. Not much is known about the details of his departure at this time, but “scheduling issues” were cited and it’s said to be amicable. Even if that’s true, and considering how close this movie is to production, this represents a major problem for Fox, while nobody has said this is happening yet, it’s possible the movie could be delayed, depending on how this all shakes out.
Channing Tatum, who has been attached to star in Gambit for several years and has been producing it as a passion project, is still on board. Now it’s just a matter of finding a new director. The fact that this is the third director to exit the X-Men spin-off is a bit troubling at this point. Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) was originally attached to direct. After he bailed, Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) spent a period of time attached to direct, but then he left as well. Then, finally, Gore Verbinski was brought on board last year, but now he too is gone.
Even though there’s no indication there was any drama behind-the-scenes, there’s a pattern developing with this movie. Fox has already locked down a February 14, 2019, release date for Gambit. That means it needs to begin shooting soon in order to make that release date. Previous reports state that the X-Men movie was expected to start shooting in March, but it’s easy to imagine that may change by the time they find a new director. Whoever that may be.
Beyond Channing Tatum’s involvement, we know that Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex) is on board to play the female lead in Gambit. No official plot details have been revealed, but we’ve heard that it may be an Ocean’s Eleven style heist movie, with other X-Men characters set to appear and help the card-throwing Cajun with the heist. Though, it’s very possible that those details are no longer accurate, even if they once were, as this movie has changed quite a bit during the long development process.
So, who should direct Gambit at this point? Not that there’s any indication they’re up for the job, but Phil Lord and Chris Miller haven’t, as far as we know, signed on for another directing gig since being fired from Solo: A Star Wars Story. They seem like a good fit for something like this. Josh Zetumer (Quantum of Solace, Patriot’s Day), according to Deadline’s report, wrote the script for the Gambit movie. Though, there were several drafts of the script, and it reportedly changed quite a bit after the success of Deadpool and Logan. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date as more details on the project are made available.