Poor Channing Tatum has been trying to get a Gambit movie made for quite some time. He’s ready to star as the Cajun mutant who is arguably the most popular of the X-Men among fans (second to Wolverine, of course). He has a script written by Josh Zetumer, who wrote the Robocop remake. He has producers in Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg, who are both experienced in working with 20th Century Fox’s Marvel properties. Now, if only he could find a director.
It’s not for lack of trying. According to multiple sources a slew of big names have been offered the director’s chair but they keep turning it down. According to Umberto Gonzales both Bennett Miller, who directed Tatum in Foxcatcher and Darren Aronofsky, who was once tapped to direct The Wolverine, have both passed on the job. In addition, the Meet the Movie Press podcast reports (via ScreenCrush) that both Gareth Evans of The Raid and J.C. Chandor, who wrote and directed A Most Violent Year, have also said no to the superhero gig.
The major problem with having no director at this point is that there is one other thing that the Gambit movie already has: a release date. Fox is planning to have this movie in theaters in October 2016, which means filming needs to start fairly soon if they’re going to hit that mark.
It’s tough to say why all these high-profile names are turning down the movie. Making a comic book movie is now the hottest thing in Hollywood, so you’d think somebody would be interested in getting involved. Channing Tatum is a fairly hot property who seems truly committed to making this movie good. On the other hand, Fox is not Marvel. While the X-Men features have seen a resurgence in popularity since First Class, the fact is that while Marvel has produced hit after hit, Fox’s superhero flicks have been much more hit and miss. While Days of Future Past was pretty good, X-Men: The Last Stand was not. The Wolverine generally received passing marks. It’s predecessor, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, not so much. Expectations are high for X-Men: Apocalypse. The Fantastic Four? Nevermind.
It does seem that there has been a more concerted effort on the part of Fox to treat their comic properties more seriously and to create an "X-Men Universe," which Gambit is set to be a part of. Not only did they finally decide to get behind a Deadpool movie, but they appear to be making the Deadpool movie that everybody wants.
Hopefully for Channing Tatum, past is prologue and he will be able to do as Ryan Reynolds did and finally bring his passion for this character to life. Who would you like to see directing the Gambit movie?