With 20th Century Fox recently pushing the release dates for two of its three X-Men movies originally slated to open this year (The New Mutants and X-Men: Dark Phoenix), many are wondering if Gambit is still moving forward, and it seems that is actually the case. Despite losing director Gore Verbinski in January, a new report claims production is still expected to begin this summer, with a June 19 production start date revealed. While this has not been confirmed by the studio, it also comes on the heels of another report that revealed a new draft of the script was coming in this month.
A report from March on the impact of the Disney-Fox merger on 20th Century Fox’s movie slate revealed that the studio has given the green light for Gambit with a studio-approved budget, but that report didn’t state when production may begin. That report, paired with this June 19 production start date, seemingly indicates that the studio is getting ready to announce a new director soon, although who that filmmaker may be remains to be seen. The studio had recently moved the release date from February 14, 2019 to June 7, 2019, so a production start date of mid-June 2018 makes sense from a production standpoint.
This project has been a revolving door for writers and directors, ever since the project was first confirmed in October 2014, after Channing Tatum had basically willed himself into the role after mentioning in several interviews how much he wants to play this Cajun hero. Writer Joshua Zetumer (RoboCop) was set to write the script, although there had been rumors that star/producer Channing Tatum was having a tough time finding a director, which would ultimately become a running theme for the project. In June 2015, Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt was brought on to direct, with production to begin that fall with the studio eyeing Lea Seydoux (Spectre) for Belladonna Boudreaux, but Wyatt dropped out in September.
After targeting Shane Black (Iron Man 3) and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block), Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) came aboard in November 2015, with shooting scheduled to begin in the spring of 2016, but filming was later delayed due to script rewrites, with Channing Tatum’s producing partner and screenwriter Reid Carolin (Magic Mike) coming aboard to work on the script. Doug Liman ultimately backed out in August 2016, with production pushed into 2017, and later 2018, before Gore Verbinski became attached last October. With so many false starts and delays, it will be interesting to see who the filmmaker will be that will finally bring Gambit before cameras after so many years of delays and development hell.
We also reported in November that Lizzy Caplan had been set to play the female lead in Gambit, although it isn’t known if she is playing Belladonna Bordeaux or a different character. There had also been reports that the main villain will be Candra, but nothing has been confirmed at this time. If this report from Omega Underground is ultimately confirmed, then we may get an update on the director soon.