Following X-Men: Apocalypse, the X-Men movie franchise is staying afloat with several spinoffs, including Gambit, starring Channing Tatum as the card-throwing mutant. Originally the movie was set to be released on October 7, 2016, but in late February, it was removed from that slot. There’s been no news regarding its new release date since then, but the reason for the delay was due to rewrites, and producer Simon Kinberg has gone into detail about the issues that have to be dealt with before Gambit progresses.
Kinberg explained to Flickering Myth that at the time Gambit was originally set to begin shooting, the script wasn’t properly ready in time, thus necessitating the movie’s indefinite delay. He said:
We’ve got to get the script right. We just didn’t get the script to the place where we all thought the movie deserved. So we’re still working on the script. We’re very close, actually, to being done with the script. And the hope is that Channing [Tatum] has a couple of movies he has to shoot, but that we would shoot at the end of this year, or the beginning of next year.
While reiterating how this will be a heist movie with Gambit as a con man, Kinberg added that it was important they they get eponymous protagonist's voice right for this new tale, much like what they had to do for Deadpool. Both characters previously appeared in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and while Taylor Kitsch’s Gambit didn’t receive nearly as much criticism as how Wade Wilson was treated, the general consensus from fans was that he could have been better adapted. Wade Wilson finally received big screen redemption earlier this year in Deadpool, and Gambit can do the same for the Ragin’ Cajun if done correctly, even though it won’t be the same actor playing him.
As it stands now, Channing Tatum is still attached to star in Gambit as Remy LeBeau, and The Bourne Identity’s Doug Liman will direct the feature. Léa Seydoux was also attached to star as the female lead at one point, though it’s unclear whether that’s still the case. Assuming the project doesn’t face any more obstacles, Kinberg’s goal of shooting at the end of the year or early next year will be doable. Right now, Fox has secured October 6, 2017 and January 12, 2018 for Marvel-related releases, so it’s possible that the movie will score one of those spots. Ignoring his X-Men Origins: Wolverine appearance, Gambit isn’t really well know to the general audience, i.e. people who haven’t read the comics or seen him in the ‘90s animated series. It’s important they get his solo adventure right, so if more time is needed to accomplish that, so much the better.
We’ll keep you updated on when Gambit gets a new release date, but in the meantime, head here to reacquaint yourself with all of the X-Men movies on the way.