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As popular as superhero movies are, finding a director for one is apparently far from easy. Channing Tatum has been working on making a Gambit movie for years. He’s had pretty much everything he needed except a director. A string of major names have turned the job down, and then the one guy who said yes had to bow out. It looks like Tatum’s cajun nightmare is nearly over however, as Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman is nearing a deal to take the director’s chair.
Liman has been one of a handful of directors who have been on the short list ever since Rupert Wyatt’s departure. The Wrap is now reporting that Fox and Liman are nearing a deal. Liman has been said to have been the frontrunner and now it certainly appears to have been true. Liman certainly has the action movie pedigree that Tatum was obviously looking for in most of the other directors he was looking at. He looks to be a good choice, although people also said that about Wyatt and he didn’t last long.
Gambit thought it had solved its longstanding director issues when Rupert Wyatt signed on. However, he didn’t last long before walking away. What was originally reported as a scheduling conflict (because it’s always reported as a scheduling conflict) has since been reported as Fox not feeling that Wyatt was entirely committed to the project. It sounds like Fox wasn’t necessarily receptive to all of his ideas for the film, which may have made him less than receptive to theirs. Hopefully Fox and Liman are getting all of that stuff out of the way early and figuring out how compatible they’ll be on this before making deals.
If Doug Liman does sign on the dotted line, his primary concern will likely be the compressed timeline that he has to work with. The Gambit film has had a release date, of October 7, 2016, for months. For a film that will require more than its share of post-production special effects work, that won’t leave much time to twiddle thumbs. This movie needs to start filming very soon if they’re going to make their release window. The film was supposed to begin filming a month ago, but that schedule was scrapped when Rupert Wyatt left.
Doug Liman hasn’t just directed good action movies, he’s directed surprisingly good action movies, as he did with last year’s Tom Cruise vehicle. He may be just the guy to helm the movie that Fox hopes will replace Wolverine as their major franchise now that Hugh Jackman is hanging up the claws. Hopefully, they get this one to stick around.