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Fox Pulls ‘Gambit’ From Schedule, Dates Two More X-Films

Fox is pounding out their upcoming slate now that Awards season is over.  They’ve carved out dates for multiple films and franchises, but for our purposes, we’ll be focusing on their X-Men films.  Surprising no one, the studio has pulled their Channing Tatum-starring Gambit film from its October 2016 release date.  The film has suffered numerous delays since original director Rupert Wyatt left during pre-production back in the fall, although it is currently slated to begin filming in early May.

The two new X-film dates are for October 6th, 2017 and January 12th, 2018.  The studio has yet to confirm what films will be inhabiting these slots.  Logic dictates that Doug Liman’s Gambit (rumored to be titled X-Men: Gambit) will be taking the former date, making it the second 2017 release after James Mangold’s Wolverine 3 (which might see the return of Sabretooth) hits that March.  So why not just announce Gambit for that slot?  Caution.  After the delays they’ve suffered, better to play it safe and not re-date the project just yet.  At least not until after it is finally in production.

In any normal scenario, I’d automatically assume that Deadpool 2 would inhabit that January date.  Given that the first film has seen astronomical success, however, an early year release seems unlikely.  Deadpool will likely end up becoming the highest grossing X-Men film to date, when all is said and done, so a Summer 2018 release for the sequel seems likelier.  The follow-up is expected to reunite the exact same creative team, comprised of star Ryan Reynolds, director Tim Miller, and writers Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick.

If not Deadpool 2, then what will occupy that January slot?  I’m betting it’ll be either the long-in-development X-Force or Josh Boone’s New Mutants films.  Given that Boone is hard at work on his adaptation of Stephen King’s Revival at the moment for Universal, the former seems likelier.  If that’s the case, then we’ll likely be getting a double-dose of Cable that year, given that he’s expected to topline X-Force, as well as feature heavily in Deadpool 2.  That’ll be a nice coup for whoever lands the part.

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