Doug Liman can’t celebrate just yet! It seems that the Edge of Tomorrow filmmaker actually has some competition when it comes to replacing Rupert Wyatt as director on Fox’s Channing Tatum-starring X-Men spin-off, Gambit. According to the folks at Heroic Hollywood, both Shane Black (Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys) and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) are in the running to helm the flick as well. Whoever wins, Channing Tatum wins…and so do we!
This is an interesting trio of directors that Tatum, producer Reid Carolin, and Fox are choosing from. Each would bring an entirely different vibe and style to the film and it honestly speaks to how seriously Tatum is taking this project. In most cases a lot of journeymen would be in contention for the film and though Liman qualifies in that light, he’s at the higher end of that particular pool.
It’s one of those cases where I’m probably going to be happy no matter which one of these fellas scores the gig. As I stated earlier in the week, Liman almost always tends to turn out an entertaining film, even when his source material is less than perfect. Cornish blasted onto the directorial scene with an excellent debut (the aforementioned Attack the Block), but has yet to nail down a follow-up. This could certainly be a fun one for him and possibly afford the filmmaker enough success (or at least a production deal) to get another more original project off the ground.
As for Shane Black? Anything he does has my attention. Even just looking at his directorial efforts, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and Iron Man 3 are both wonderful and The Nice Guys looks to be a winner as well. Black also has Predator 4 lined up at Fox, with longtime pal and collaborator Fred Dekker in tow, so he already has a good relationship with the studio. If he gets the gig, it might push his Predator reboot back a bit (though no date has been given for it), but it will also afford him more time to nail down his plans for it.
Looking at these names logically, Joe Cornish may well have the inside track, if for no other reason than the fact that he doesn’t seem to be too busy at the moment. Liman is in post at the moment on his latest collaboration with Tom Cruise, Mena, and Black is similarly finishing up The Nice Guys, which is due for release early next year. Gambit is now eyeing an early 2016 start date (we’re hearing February), so if it all comes down to scheduling in the end, Cornish could end up a shoe-in for the chair.