The Gambit troubles continue unabated. Yes, 20th Century Fox seems dedicated to making a movie about the X-Men‘s Ragin’ Cajun, they have a very well-known and photogenic actor lined up to play the part in the form of Channing Tatum, and they even have a release date set for the movie almost one year from today. So why, oh why doesn’t anyone seem to want to direct Gambit? Well, perhaps those woes are wearing off. A front-runner has emerged in the Gambit directorial sweepstakes, and it’s a name not unfamiliar to those that enjoy fine genre entertainment, Doug Liman. Is Fox going to rely on the guy that launched The Bourne Identity to launch Gambit?
The answer seems to be yes. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Liman has emerged the victor after months of meetings between Fox executives and other potential candidates. Liman was one of a couple of high-profile filmmakers including Shane Black (Iron Man 3) and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block), but its Liman who’s now in final negotiations to direct this very big project. Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) was initially going to direct the film, but he left the production citing Hollywood’s second favorite excuse – scheduling conflicts – before revealing that the reason was actually the number one excuse – creative differences.
Liman is an interesting choice because he’s shown that he can handle strong character-driven stories (Go, Fair Game), and big action spectacles (Edge of Tomorrow, The Bourne Identity). There have been some stumbles, Jumper for instance, but perhaps Liman’s biggest asset is that he knows how to handle troubled sets. Bourne and Edge both had difficult processes from shooting to scripting, and of course there was the whole “Brangelina” madness around Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Liman better hustle too because there are now less than 11 months until Gambit‘s pre-arranged release date, and undoubtedly there’s a lot of work to get done before the cameras role.
Gambit is currently scheduled to be in theaters everywhere on October 7, 2016.