One of the more beleaguered superhero projects in development is Channing Tatum’s solo Gambit movie, a Deadpool-like spin-off of Fox’s X-Men universe. I’m on the record thinking this is a terrible idea because Gambit is a dumb f*cking superhero, and it would seem somebody somewhere agrees with me because the project is on hold. It’s already gone through fits and starts as Tatum negotiated hard to not only star in the movie but produce it, too, and now director Doug Liman—who replaced original director Rupert Wyatt—is walking away for a bit to make another movie, The Wall, until things are more in order with Gambit.
This project has already cycled through directors once and now extensive rewrites have set back filming for the better part of a year, and its release date has been removed from Fox’s slate. It’s penciled in for 2017, but until there’s a finished script, who knows. At this point, I’ll believe this movie is happening when I’m sitting in a theater watching it. I also won’t be surprised if we end up seeing a third director come in to handle it, whenever it does finally go into production.
Lainey was wondering why Tatum is so hell bent on making this movie in the first place, since he’s one of the few movie stars who really does not need this kind of project on his resume. Well, Tatum’s dad is from Louisiana, and Gambit is from Louisiana, and that seems to be it. Tatum will push this project—which no one is asking for—through development hell because they’re both Southern.
Ryan Reynolds did it for Deadpool, but Deadpool has an ardent fan base from the comics, and people were really excited to see him in Wolverine: Origins. After the character was butchered in that movie, there was a vocal fan response, demanding a do-over, which Reynolds made good on this year. But there is no such support for Gambit. No one was crying out for Taylor Kitsch to reprise the role in a different Wolverine movie, let alone to give him a solo film. Superhero movies are incredibly popular, and Channing Tatum is incredibly popular, so people really ought to be into a superhero movie starring Channing Tatum. Instead everyone seems to be asking—why are you even bothering?