Gambit has never received the jolt of energy it needs to make it to theaters. Channing Tatum has been attached to the X-Men film for years, and Fox has given the film multiple release dates. But, in that time, three directors have boarded and subsequently left the project, with the latest rumor being that Tatum himself could direct.
Plus, almost all that took place before the looming shadow of Disney buying Fox and potentially changing everything for X-Men stories. While lots of things have prevented Gambit from making it to the big screen, one of those departed directors recently offered a rather measured peek behind the curtain of the whole ordeal.
Rupert Wyatt, whose new movie Captive State is out this week, was one of the first directors attached to the film (the others are Doug Liman and Gore Verbinski). In an interview with Comics Beat, Wyatt explained that (almost predictably) money was the biggest issue holding back Gambit, especially after the costly disappointment that was Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four.
I was very close with Channing Tatum and his producing partner Reid Carolin, and I was on the script with him and Josh Zetumer as a writer. We were close, I believe 10 weeks away. It simply came down to budget. There was not enough. You know all too well about the politics of the business. Fantastic Four had been released by Fox a month before and had not gone well for them, so our budget was slashed quite considerably. The inevitable, from my perspective was, ‘Well then we need to rewrite the script to tailor to our budget,’ but we were too close to a start date for Fox to really want to go there, so unfortunately, it just didn’t work out.
Wyatt didn’t have much else to say beyond that except he knows Tatum and Carolin are still working on making the film a reality, and he hopes one day they can.
It feels like, inevitably, it will—especially if the Marvel Studios team, led by Kevin Feige, comes on board and figures out exactly how to bring Gambit to life.
For more, make sure you’re following us on our new Instagram @io9dotcom.