Last month, the Cajun-flavored X-Men spin-off Gambit took a hit as director Rupert Wyatt (The Gambler, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) exited the Fox production. Originally scheduled to begin shooting this month, the production has officially been placed on an indefinite hold until a new director is found. Unofficially, word has come through that the project is now eyeing a February start and that the October 2016 release date is still…pardon the pun…in the cards.
According to a recent rumor, the studio and star Channing Tatum may have already found their replacement. Word is that Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Edge of Tomorrow) may be the man for the job and is on the inside track to score the gig. Nothing official has been announced and things will likely remain that way until a deal is signed, be it with Liman or something else. Still, it makes sense that Fox would want to secure a filmmaker within the next month and get them caught up to speed on the production before work ceases for about a month during the holiday break.
Liman is no stranger to more FX-driven fare, having recently made the Tom Cruise-starring sleeper sci-fi hit Edge of Tomorrow and previously tackled the superhero-ish Jumper. That, paired with his knack for action, certainly makes him a good pairing with the project. It also helps that his films tend to be quite entertaining, even the lesser efforts. Liman is currently in post-production on his Barry Seal biopic, Mena, on which he re-teamed with Cruise. With that film not set for release until January 2017, he still has ample time to finish post-production work on it, while also working on Gambit. Also, given the four month delay that the latter has been dealt, I wouldn’t be too surprised if Gambit‘s release is pushed to early 2017 as well, regardless of who directs.