Earlier today, Disney announced a lot of new release date information, which included three new Star Wars movies being slotted and both the Avatar sequels and The New Mutants being delayed. But there was one movie conspicuously absent from the updated Disney calendar: Gambit. Yes, it appears that after years in development hell, Gambit has finally been shelved.
Ever since Gambit was officially announced back in 2014, five years after Taylor Kitsch played the first live action incarnation of Remy LeBeau in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it’s been repeatedly been delayed, and when last we heard, it was supposed to come out on March 13, 2020. However, now Disney has acquired 21st Century Fox, and rather than continue that studio’s pattern of pushing Gambit back, the Mouse House has opted to just take the movie off the board entirely.
Barring some surprise announcement later down the line, the five-year saga of attempting to give Gambit his own solo movie has ended. That’s a shame for Channing Tatum, who’s been attached to play Tatum since Gambit officially entered development. Maybe he’ll find another opportunity to play a superhero down the line, but throwing energized playing cards is not in his future.
Even if Disney had been willing to still release Gambit, there’s no way it would have been ready to go by that March 2020 date. Following the departures of Rupert Wyatt, Doug Liman and Gore Verbinski over the years, Gambit had still not found a replacement director. The movie also changed a lot from how it was originally conceived, but alas, we won’t get to see this particular tale unfold.
Gambit’s removal, as well as the cancellation of all the other X-Men spinoffs in development, further signals the end of the X-Men franchise that began in 2000. Dark Phoenix is wrapping up the main X-Men film series next month, and while Disney is insistent that we’ll see The New Mutants next year, it’ll likely just be a standalone tale rather than spawn sequels.
The only thing that will be staying the same when it comes to Marvel’s mutant properties is Deadpool, as Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recently said that there are no plans to change the Merc with the Mouth. But other than that, it’s believed that the X-Men franchise will be rebooted to fit within the Marvel Cinematic Universe continuity, although it will be a while until that happens.
Maybe there’s a future for Gambit within the MCU’s forthcoming X-Men adaptations; just because he was never able to star in his own movie doesn’t mean he can’t be an important player in ensemble pieces. Regardless, fingers crossed that someday there’s a book written about all the effort that went into trying to get the Gambit movie off the ground.