20th Century Fox had previously announced that “Gambit” would open in theaters October 7, 2016, but the studio has pulled the “X-Men” spinoff from its release date, without officially, publicly rescheduling it. It’s been a roller coaster year for Fox’s Marvel adaptations, with “Fantastic Four” tanking in all ways save one, “Deadpool” breaking box-office records, and “X-Men: Apocalypse” only three months away. According to BoxOffice.com, who first reported the change of plans on Twitter, Fox has also scheduled releases for as-yet-unannounced Marvel projects that will hit theaters October 6, 2017 and January 12, 2018.
The “Gambit” movie, starring Channing Tatum, had not yet begun shooting, so the change of plans is not entirely unsurprising. The latest reports indicated that Doug Liman was in final negotiations to direct, and that production would begin in March on location in New Orleans, so making the proposed release date this autumn would have taken some significant, perhaps mutant, film making gifts.
The box office-returns of “Deadpool” would have made a sequel a foregone conclusion even without the end-credit teaser, and given the revenue its February release raked in, and studios’ habit of sticking with what has proven to work on the calendar, it stands to reason that the January 2018 project would be for “Deadpool 2.” Given the initial October arrangement for “Gambit,” it may also follow that the October 2017 date is being held for that movie, which will be produced by “X-Men” veteran Simon Kinberg.
“Spectre” star Lea Seydoux has also been attached to play Gambit’s love interest, Bella Donna Boudreaux, although no official casting announcement has yet been made.
BoxOffice.com also reported that Fox will move “Alien: Covenant” from its previously announced October 6, 2017 date up a few months, to August 4, 2017. The Ridley Scott film stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Demian Bichir, Danny McBride, Jussie Smollett, Amy Seimetz, Carmen Ejogo and Callie Hernandez, with Billy Crudup in talks to join.