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Gambit in Marvel comics

Gambit is one of the more popular members of the X-Men, but barring a brief appearance in the largely forgettable X-Men Origins: Wolverine we've never seen the Cajun card thrower on the big screen. Channing Tatum has been working on getting a Gambit movie made for years, but the film has been stuck in development hell all that time, largely due to difficulties in finding a director. Now, the project is sitting in limbo again for an entirely new reason, Disney is now the company that gets to decide if the movie even happens.

The merger between Fox and Disney was recently completed and as part of that, Disney has now inherited every film project that the previous studio had on the books. In many cases, we would expect that things will continue to move forward following the plan that was already made, but producer Simon Kinberg says that currently Disney is reevaluating many or all of the in-development Fox projects, including Gambit, though he expects everything will be fine. According to Kinberg...

All of the movies at Fox are being evaluated. I love the idea of Channing playing Gambit. I think we have a great script for it and I think it’s a role he was born to play. It’s a character I grew up loving and I know the fans love. So I suspect, I hope it will happen.

Simon Kinberg had been one of the producers in charge of the entire X-Men universe over at Fox, going so far as to direct the upcoming Dark Phoenix. However, based on his comments to Variety, it doesn't sound like he's directly involved in the conversations at Disney regarding what to do with Gambit.

A lot has been going on at the new Disney since the acquisition of Fox became official. Many layoffs have already taken place, and at least one film label has been shut down. However, if you're interest is purely on the content side, there're many decisions left to be made. The fact is that several upcoming projects, even some that fully expected to move forward, could still be axed now that there are new people at the top of the food chain. While the Fox label will continue to exist, it's unlikely the division will be producing as many movies as the studio was before Disney took over, so it's quite likely that a few movies we thought we were getting could end up disappearing.

While Simon Kinberg thinks that Gambit has a good shot, because it has a solid actor cast in the lead and a good script, the fact is that it could still get chopped for any number of reasons. Everybody expects the X-Men to receive a franchise reboot at some point in order for them join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Depending on what the timeline for such a move is, it's possible Gambit might conflict with those plans, and thus could end up not being made.

Alternately, unless the recent rumor that Channing Tatum himself is interested in directing is true, the movie could still end up on the refuse pile if the new studio has no better luck finding a director.

We'll likely be hearing about the fate of a lot of different movies in the coming weeks and months as Disney continues to sort out its newfound empire.

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