It seems like the Gambit movie has been in the works forever, doesn’t it? They’ve had a star in place for well over a year with Channing Tatum, and the production is now on its second director. The 20th Century Fox X-Men movie universe seems to be functioning just fine, with the recent success of Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse just weeks away, and Wolverine 3 just getting underway for a 2017 release.
X-Men movie producer Simon Kinberg explained what the holdup is, and when he expects the production might actually get moving. “We’ve got to get the script right,” he told Flickering Myth back in May. “We just didn’t get the script to the place where we all thought the movie deserved. So we’re still working on the script. We’re very close, actually, to being done with the script.” That script, by the way, is by Joshua Zetumer (the RoboCop remake) and legendary X-Men comics writer Chris Claremont.
Well, you can’t really fault them for wanting to get it right. Look how long it took Deadpool to happen, and that worked out just fine. After admitting that they now have to work around Channing Tatum’s increasingly busy schedule, Kinberg said that they hope to get this one in front of the cameras “at the end of this year, or the beginning of next year.”
But now in a new interview, he goes into a little more detail about what was lacking with that script. “I think the truth is when you have these movies that need a very special and unique tone, it takes a little while to find that tone,” Mr. Kinberg told SlashFilm. “Deadpoolfeels like it exploded out of nowhere but it was a ten-year development process on that movie. I think it was honed over those ten years. I hope that Gambitdoesn’t take ten years but it takes a little honing to get that tone and that voice exactly right. The character has such a specific voice in the comic in the same way that Deadpoolhas a specific voice in the comic, that we want to make sure that we capture that voice on the page. Really it’s just about getting a screenplay that is worthy of that character and I think we’re really close right now.”
Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) is still scheduled to direct. As for a release date? At one point, Gambit was scheduled for release in October of 2016, but obviously that isn’t happening. Fox now has an October 6th, 2017 release date reserved for an untitled Marvel project, and it’s possible that could be where Gambit ends up…but they’d have to get moving soon.
A version of this article ran on May 14, 2016. It has been updated with new quotes from Mr. Kinberg.