Development of Fox’s planned “Gambit” film has experienced repeated delays, most often attributed to concerns about the screenplay. Rupert Wyatt (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”) was originally attached to direct the X-Men spinoff, starring Channing Tatum as the fan-favorite Marvel hero, only to leave in 2015 because of scheduling conflicts and a reported escalating budget due to script issues. Doug Liman (“Edge of Tomorrow”) succeeded Wyatt, only to exit in August to direct “The Wall.” Now Liman has opened up about why he walked away from “Gambit.”
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“I’m all about the script, and I just wasn’t feeling it,” he told LRM Online. “I’ve gotta connect to the script. On ‘Bourne Identity,’ Matt Damon was always referring to himself as a ‘script whore,’ and I’m with Matt on that. It’s like, you feel the script, that’s everything. We make movies because we want to tell great stories.”
After “Gambit” was pulled from planned October 2016 release, “X-Men” franchise producer Simon Kinberg explained, “We just didn’t get the script to the place that we all felt like that movie deserved, so we’re still working on the script — we’re very close, actually, to being done with the script.”
“I think one of the things that I’ve learned on all of these movies — and maybe the lesson was best learned for me on ‘Deadpool’ — is the most important thing is getting the tone and the voice right,” he continued. “That the storytelling, the actual plots, are sort of interchangeable and disposable, ultimately. If I ask you what your favorite movies are, you’re not going to tell me the plot, you’re going to tell me you love this character, and so what we’ve really tried to do with ‘Gambit’ is make sure we get the voice of that character right, and the tone of the comics 100 percent on the page.”
As of January, Tatum was still attached to “Gambit,” which no longer has an official release date.