While walking the red carpet at the New York premiere of Deadpool 2 last night, producer Simon Kinberg offered a new update on another X-Men spin-off, the long-awaited Gambit. At the end of March, Kinberg hinted that a director announcement would be coming soon, and that they hoped to start production in June, but now it seems they're aiming for filming to begin a bit later this summer with star Channing Tatum. Here's what Kinberg had to say during an interview on the Deadpool 2 red carpet.
"We have a script that we love, that Channing loves. We've met with a bunch of directors in the last couple of weeks, and we're hoping to actually pick one in the next couple of weeks and shoot the movie maybe the end of this summer."
Gambit has been in various stages of development for the past few years now, with Channing Tatum first confirmed to play the Cajun, card-throwing mutant back in October 2014, with an October 2016 release date being eyed at that time. Rupert Wyatt became the first director attached in June 2015, and there were reports that filming was being eyed to start that fall, with Lea Seydoux eyed to play Belladonna Boudreaux, but Wyatt backed out in September 2015. Doug Liman came aboard in November 2015, with production slated to begin in the spring of 2016, but production was delayed due to script rewrites, with Kinberg adding in August 2016 that they were having issues finding the right tone.
Liman ended up leaving the project in August 2016, with Tatum revealing in August 2017 that the project was being reconceived, in the light of the success of 20th Century Fox's R-rated hits Deadpool and Logan. Gore Verbinski came aboard in October 2017, with Lizzy Caplan eyed for the female lead and Channing Tatum's Logan Lucky co-star Daniel Craig rumored to play Mister Sinister. Gore Verbinski ultimately dropped out in January of this year, with the Gambit release date pushed to June 7, 2019, which puts it up against Sony's Charlie's Angels reboot and Universal's animated sequel The Secret Life of Pets 2.
At one point, there were supposed to be three X-Men movies arriving in theaters this year, and now there is only one, Deapdool 2, but if everything goes to plan, next year will feature three X-Men movies. X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which was originally scheduled to arrive on November 2, 2018, is now slated to debut on February 14, 2019. Gambit will be the middle film in this trio, arriving on June 7, 2019, with the third movie, The New Mutants, arriving on August 2, 2019. Whether or not all of these dates are kept will likely depend on the production schedule of Gambit and the reshoot schedules of both Dark Phoenix and New Mutants.
There has also been no indication yet as to whether or not there are plans to integrate Gambit into rest of the X-Men franchise, but that may yet depend on the Disney Fox merger, which is expected to be finalized sometime next year. Still, until that happens, it's said to be "business as usual" at 20th Century Fox, and hopefully we'll hear who is directing Gambit soon, as promised by Simon Kinberg. Variety broke the news from the Deadpool 2 red carpet yesterday.