At any given point in time, studios are juggling multiple projects in various stages of development. With some films, the path from inception to theatrical release is a straightforward one. But for others, like Gambit, the road’s... rocky. And that film has just lost its third director.
The Channing Tatum-led Gambit movie has been stuck in development hell for what seems like ages. Previously, directors Rupert Wyatt and Doug Liman were attached, but fans’ hopes were raised last year when word broke that Gore Verbinski was in talks to direct.
With a leading man, a script, and a director, it seemed as if Gambit might have finally been on track to hit theaters. But according to Deadline, Verbinski too is parting ways with the project just as quickly as he became involved. Wyatt exited the film because of scheduling issues, while Liman left to direct Warner Bros.’ Justice League Dark, which he then also left. Verbinski’s reason for leaving Gambit is also scheduling, since the X-Men franchise spinoff is still slated to come out on February 14, 2019.
Obviously, this is a rather major setback for Gambit, but it comes at a point in time when things are much funkier than anyone involved in the project probably ever imagined. Disney recently set plans in motion to acquire 20th Century Fox, meaning that whatever form Gambit is currently in would potentially belong to them. Unless Fox somehow manages to produce the film before the deal is finalized—it’s still unclear how projects already in motion will be affected—but it seems unlikely Disney would be particularly concerned with fast-tracking a film with so little to it (right now) in order to make that impossibly close deadline.
As utterly fantastic as it would be to see Channing Tatum with floppy hair and a Cajun accent, it’s looking like Gambit’s still long, long ways out.