The X-Men franchise has had a long life in the theaters, but it hasn't been without missteps. And while R-rated movies like Deadpool and Logan have found massive success, Fox's next three releases have each been pushed back a few times. No blockbuster is quite as guilty of this as Channing Tatum's Gambit, which has been delayed more times than you can shake a kinetically charged stick at. Many hardcore cinephiles and Marvel fans have all but given up on the Gambit movie at this point, and producer Simon Kinberg seems to understand that experience. In fact, he shared the cynicism-- despite knowing the inner workings of the franchise. As he tells it,
So Gambit became something different over the span of developing it with Channing, with his partner Reid [Carolin], with Josh Zetumer the screenwriter. It is something that we intend to make but listen I'm Jewish, so my expectation for everything is I don't believe anything until it's out in movie theaters. So I share your cynicism generally, but in this particular case we're working very hard to get the movie going.
While making a joke about his own insecurities and personal background, Simon Kinberg does seem to level with the fans here. Gambit has had an extremely rocky road to development, with no end in sight. So fans who don't think the project will ever happen certainly have cause.
Simon Kinberg's comments to Collider show how in flux the X-Men franchise as a whole is, and how the folks at 20th Century Fox are a bit more flexible than one would think. While running the X-Men franchise for nearly two decades is a massive undertaking, the studio seems to be flying by the seat of their pants in some ways. Just look at the most recent set of delays, as Dark Phoenix takes Gambit's release date, The New Mutants was delayed, and Channing Tatum's movie was left in development hell.
The fans' trepidation toward Gambit show one way that the superhero genre has changed in the past few years. Because until a blockbuster is actually shot and in the can, there's no guarantee that previously announced projects will come to fruition. Gambit is a great example of this, as are a variety of DC's previously announced movies that have no release date or production schedule. There's still no guarantee the Gambit movie will ever actually make it to theaters, although Simon Kinberg makes it clear that the studio is very much keeping it in mind.
Of course, Simon Kinberg also addresses the possibility that Gambit might never make it to theaters, as he'd just as cynical as the rest of us. And with Disney and Fox's merger looming in the background, the clock seems to be ticking.
Simon Kinberg's directorial debut Dark Phoenix will arrive in theaters on June 7th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.