It was looking a bit iffy there for awhile as to whether or not Gambit might make it, due to the loss of a director and other delays, but Fox and Channing Tatum have found their savior. Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, Mena) is in final negotiations to plop down in the director’s chair for the X-Men spin-off early next year, replacing Rupert Wyatt, who exited awhile back. Liman is currently in post-production on his latest Tom Cruise collaboration, the aforementioned Mena, and actually has another Cruise project lined up to do after Gambit, the sci-fi film Luna Park.
Liman was reportedly vying for the slot against the likes of Shane Black and Joe Cornish. The former is still in post-production on The Nice Guys and is expected to move over to his Predator reboot afterwards, with an eye on hitting that sweet anniversary release in 2017, so it was unlikely that Fox would have him spend time with the ragin’ Cajun in 2016. As for Cornish, the guy keeps being brought up for big films, but has yet to land one. As fans of Attack the Block, we wish him the best of luck and hope he scores a choice gig sooner or later.
While I’m still not sold on Tatum in this role, if they are angling for the less mutant-focused Thieves Guild versus Assassins Guild story that it seems they are, this should prove a refreshing change of pace for the X-Men franchise. Furthermore, I’ve always liked Doug Liman’s work, even in his lesser films (Jumper), so his involvement piques my interested further. For now, consider me cautiously optimistic when it comes to this one.