It’s been a revolving door behind the camera for Gambit, the X-Men spinoff movie set to star Channing Tatum as the popular Cajun mutant. That trend continues as the project has lost another director, Pirates of the Caribbean and A Cure For Wellness filmmaker Gore Verbinski.
According to Deadline, the Oscar-winning director exited the 20th Century Fox film due to scheduling issues with several other projects he has in the works. The split was reportedly an amicable one, but leaves the long-delayed film without a director once again.
In October 2017, Verbinski was reported to be close to signing a deal to direct Gambit, and the film was subsequently given a release date of February 14, 2019. There’s no word on whether the studio still plans to keep that release date for the movie.
Verbinski is the latest director to exit the project after several other high-profile filmmakers were attached to the film at one point or another and eventually exited. Edge of Tomorrow and The Bourne Identity director Doug Liman was previously attached to direct the film, and the same goes for Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt. The Shawshank Redemption director Frank Darabont was also rumored as a leading candidate to direct it at one point.
Created by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee in 1990, Gambit is a mutant from New Orleans and a recurring member of the X-Men team who was one of the ’90s most popular comic-book characters. He has the power to charge objects with a powerful kinetic energy that explodes on impact, allowing him to turn anything into a weapon — a skill he often employs with a deck of cards that he flings at enemies. Raised by the mysterious Guild of Thieves, Remy LeBeau (aka Gambit) has a long history with Marvel Comics’ mutant superhero team as both an enemy and ally.
John Carter and Friday Night Lights actor Taylor Kitsch portrayed Gambit in the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the character’s only big-screen, live-action appearance to date.
The screenplay for Gambit was penned by RoboCop (2014) screenwriter Josh Zetumer, with Claremont providing the initial story outline for the film. Unconfirmed reports suggested the studio was considering an R rating for the film.
Spectre and Blue is the Warmest Color actress Lea Seydoux was attached to play the female lead, Bella Donna Boudreaux, in August 2015. She exited the project at some point, likely due to its prolonged development process. Masters of Sex actress Lizzy Caplan was later reported to be in talks to co-star with Tatum in the film.
Update: We’ve updated this article to reflect Gore Verbinski’s departure from the film.
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