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X-Men Spin-Off Gambit Is Still Happening with Channing Tatum

By Brian Gallagher — January 12th, 2017

Back in July, producer Simon Kinberg revealed that production on the Gambit spin-off was expected to begin in Spring 2017, although a concrete start date was not revealed. But then, just a month later, the project lost director Doug Liman, and that was the last we heard about it. The X-Men spin-off just keeps getting pushed back for a number of different reasons. Today, we finally have a new, albeit brief, update on the film, with confirmation that Channing Tatum is still attached to star.

The news came from Buzzfeed reporter Jarett Wieselman, who was present at the TCA Winter Tour today when producer Lauren Shuler Donner was promoting the new X-Men TV series Legion. Although there is no direct quote, the reporter revealed on Twitter that Lauren Shuler Donner told the assembled press members that Channing Tatum is still attached to star as Gambit in this spin-off. While she wouldn't offer more about Gambit she did state that the TV show Legion features characters they have no intention of using in the X-Men movie universe.

Channing Tatum's involvement as Gambit was first revealed in 2014, when it was originally announced that the character will be introduced in X-Men: Apocalypse before getting his own spin-off movie. His X-Men: Apocalypse appearance never did happen, but at the time, the studio was aiming for a 2016 release date. Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) signed on to direct, with a script from Joshua Zetumer (RoboCop), but the director parted ways with the project. Doug Liman came aboard to direct in November 2015, with a spring 2016 production start planned, but that was ultimately scrapped due to script rewrites. With no director attached yet, it isn't clear if a production start date is being planned, or if 20th Century Fox is seeking a specific release date.

Back in August, producer Simon Kinberg revealed that the Gambit adaptation won't happen until they can get the script just right. The producer revealed that a movie like this needs "a special and unique tone," and that is often very difficult to find. He compared the process to Deadpool, which may have seemed like an instant, overnight success, but he reminded fans that the film was in various stages of development for a decade before it hit theaters. With no director and an always-evolving script, it may just take that long to get Gambit off the ground.

20th Century Fox is also developing a few other X-Men spin-offs as well, with X-Force in the works along with The New Mutants. There are also rumors of another X-Men movie in the works with director Bryan Singer, which producer Simon Kinberg has teased in the past will be set in the 1990s. As for Gambit, there had previously been rumors that Channing Tatum was leaving the project, but that was debunked when he officially signed on in 2015. The actor actively campaigned for this role during interviews and on social media, so even if the film keeps getting delayed, Channing Tatum may still stick with it for the long haul, until all of the pieces finally come into place and production starts. Take a look at Jarett Wieselman had to say on Twitter about Lauren Shuler Donner about Gambit.

20th Century Fox does have a number of Untitled Marvel project release dates lined up for the future, the first of which falls on November 2, 2017. It's unlikely that Gambit could make this date, and whatever this movie is supposed to be will probably get pushed into 2018. Another untitled Marvel movie is scheduled to hit June 29, 2018, but there is no word on what this may be, either.

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