Last month, Rise of the Planet of the Apes filmmaker Rupert Wyatt exited the upcoming X-Men spinoff movie, Gambit, leaving the project without a director and in uncertain waters. Now comes word that The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman is being pursued by both the studio and Gambit star Channing Tatum to take on the project, which is expected to begin production early next year.
According to Deadline, Liman is on “an inside track” to direct Gambit, but a number of obstacles on the horizon could derail the deal. First and foremost among the potential problems is that Liman only recently finished filming the drug-smuggling drama Mena with Tom Cruise, which could tie him up in post-production work past the viable timeframe for Gambit to shoot. Liman is also rumored to be considering an Edge of Tomorrow sequel and his longstanding sci-fi film Luna Park for his next projects, so that could also create some scheduling issues.
After that initial report mentioned Liman as a potential director Gambit, the report was confirmed by The Wrap, which also seemed to indicate that the director wasn’t a lock for the project.
True that Channing Tatum has been courting Doug Liman to direct GAMBIT. We'll see if he goes for it though…
— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) October 18, 2015
As it stands now, Gambit is set to star Tatum as the title character, a recurring member of the mutant superhero team the X-Men who has the power to charge inanimate objects with explosive kinetic energy. A Louisiana native raised by the mysterious Guild of Thieves, Remy LeBeau (aka Gambit) first appeared in a 1990 issue of Marvel Comics’ Uncanny X-Men series. In the X-Men movie-verse, Gambit was portrayed by Taylor Kitsch in the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Long the subject of solo movie rumors, Gambit is expected to get an origin story of sorts in the upcoming film, which will also star The Grand Budapest Hotel actress Lea Seydoux. The film is based on a screenplay by RoboCop writer Joshua Zetumer, and is currently scheduled to hit theaters October 7, 2016.