Will Gambit be able to keep it's October 2016 release date? That's the question on everyone's mind as 20th Century Fox furiously searches for a director to take over the Channing Tatum X-Men spinoff. All eyes are now on Doug Liman. Rupert Wyatt abandoned the movie about a card-throwing mutant earlier in the year, citing creative differences.
Gambit is still holding onto its October 7, 2016 release date. Barely. Things need to move fast for that to still happen. And the studio has gone through a whirlwind of directing choices, but it's been notoriously hard to find anyone who wants to attach themselves to this Cajun superhero adventure. But now, it looks like Doug Liman may be ready to accept an offer. If you're not familiar with the name, he's the man behind the sleeper hit Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise. And he recently reunited with the actor for the upcoming drug smuggling drama Mena. He's attached to an adaptation of the video game Splinter Cell. Other directorial efforts include Jumper, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and The Bourne Identity.
Doug Liman is in final negotiations with the studio following several meetings about the project. The last one took place this past Thursday. It has been acknowledged that both Mr. and Mrs. Smith and The Bourne Identity were troubled productions, and while they did good box office, both films had to be saved in post-production. Gambit is an instance where the film needs to be saved in pre-production.
The director's recent work on Mena has proven that he is capable of pulling off such a feat. And everyone involved with Edge of Tomorrow was happy with the end results, even if the title of the film proved to be troubling. Simon Kinberg, who worked with Doug Liman on Mr. and Mrs. Smith, has a friendly working relationship with the director, and is said to have a lot of input into the behind-the-scenes development of Gambit. He is believed to be exercising a strong hand in delivering the picture Fox wants. And he's also credited for being one of the reasons why Rupert Wyatt bailed on the project.
Other directors considered for Gambit included F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton), Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) and Shane Black (Iron Man 3). Rupert Wyatt notoriously backed out of the movie this past September, saying that he had a 'scheduling conflict'. But sources close to the production claim that the Rise of the Planet of the Apes director feared he was signing on for something that just wasn't going to be very good.
That's not hard to believe. Gambit certainly has a strange premise. And fans did not gravitate to the character first introduced on the big screen in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Taylor Kitsch first played the New Orleans-based Mutant. The superhero has the power to manipulate kinetic energy, and often uses playing cards against his victims, throwing them and turning them into tiny bombs mid-air. He is also known for fighting with his Bo staff. So, what do you think? Can Doug Liman rescue this sinking superhero project? Or is this just another disaster waiting to happen?