The Gambit movie is about to suck in a big way (Updated)
Update: Tatum has closed a deal with Fox, confirming that he will play Gambit. The studio attempted to downplay the stories of Tatum walking. That could indicate that this was little more than a clever negotiating tactic from Tatum.
Original story 7/39: The 20th Century Fox film Gambit is about to collapse in epic fashion, according to The Wrap. Sources speaking to the outlet have confirmed that Channing Tatum, the guy that basically single handedly brought the project to life, is about to walk away.
It’s not clear why Tatum might depart, but if true, this is a ridiculous breakdown of a once promising new franchise.
Tatum has been pushing for a film about the thief-turned-X-Man Gambit for years now. After X-Men Origins: Wolverine tainted the character with an assist from Taylor Kitsch, no one was thinking about a Gambit movie. No one except Tatum.
He convinced X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner to give him a shot, and eventually in 2014 she agreed. Tatum was attached to star and produce (along with his producing partner, Reid Carolin), and in October 2014 Josh Zetumer was hired to write the screenplay. Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Gambler) was brought on to direct, and the film was given an October 7, 2016 release date.
So what the hell made Tatum walk?
Maybe Tatum is holding out for more money, or maybe the studio wants to go in a different direction than he wanted to. The later would make sense given how much trouble Fox has had in making Marvel movies that aren’t horrible.
Fox is currently coasting on the success of X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past. The studio is coasting so hard that it is easy to forget that Fox has more misses than hits. X-Men Origins: Wolverine was absolutely terrible, while The Wolverine was alright, but forgettable. The first two X-Men films weren’t bad (the second was genuinely good), but the third was an absolute mess. And the less said about Ben Affleck’s Daredevil, the better.
The studio is hoping to stay in the positive with Deadpool, which is coming off some solid Comic-Con buzz, and Fantastic Four, which has been filled with drama over director Josh Trank’s reported loss of control on set. X-Men: Apocalypse is also underwhelming people with its Blue Meanie depiction of Apocalypse.
So is Gambit another casualty, or are the problems easily overcome? If Tatum does walk, the studio will likely just find someone else – it could cancel it, but it is fairly far ahead. If that happens though, Gambit goes from being an interesting passion project from one of the top actors in Hollywood to a film without the person that most wanted it made.
This could always be a negotiating tactic. Tatum is very much in a position of power, with the film set for release in just over 14 months; Gambit may also have a cameo in X-Men: Apocalypse, which is currently filming. If Tatum is negotiating in public, he could have Fox right where he wants them – but he will need to be willing to actually walk away. Given Fox’s hit-and-miss record, things could get ugly.
In other words, Gambit could be in serious trouble.