It looks like everyone’s favorite Cajun mutant superhero was dealt yet another blow this week. New reports indicate that Rupert Wyatt has stepped down as the director of the 2016 “X-Men” spinoff.
The news comes from Deadline, which reports that Wyatt exited the Channing Tatum-led project amid rumors that script and budget disagreements had driven the “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” director to say “bye-bye” to both the project and the team at 20th Century Fox. However, the director soon released a statement on the matter that chalked it all up to a scheduling conflict. Once the film’s start date was pushed from November 2015 to March 2016, Wyatt allegedly had to bow out.
“I was very much looking forward to working with my friend Channing and the team at Fox, but regrettably a push in the start date now conflicts with another project,” he told the outlet. “I thank them for the opportunity, and I know that ‘Gambit’ will make a terrific film.”
Unfortunately, he didn’t reveal which film the schedule clashes with. However, he seems to be splitting amicably from the project – or at least going out of his way to make the public think that he is. As previously reported, the “Gambit” movie has locked down a release date of Oct. 7, 2016, meaning that finding a new director will have to be done quickly in order to keep it on its planned schedule. Fortunately for Gambit fans, Entertainment Weekly reports that a new director for the film is expected to be announced relatively quickly with filming still beginning in the spring.
This is the latest of a few hiccups in the “Gambit” movie’s production. Tatum had to put down rumors, first reported by The Wrap, that the film’s deal was breaking down and that he would not be joining the project as a producer or its star. However, The Hollywood Reporter soon learned that, although the deal hit a brief rough patch, Tatum had officially signed on to be a part of the movie and become the second actor to bring the high-powered mutant to life. “True Detective” Season 2 actor Taylor Kitsch previously played the role in the critically panned “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
For those unfamiliar with the character, he is a very popular “bad boy” figure on the X-Men team. In the comic books, Gambit (A.K.A. Remy LeBau) was abandoned at birth thanks to his mutation giving him glowing red eyes. He is soon unofficially adopted by the New Orleans Thieves’ Guild. He is raised as a master thief before an arranged marriage is orchestrated between him and the daughter of a rival guild, Bella Donna Boudreaux, who will be played by actress Lea Seydoux. Unfortunately, that marriage doesn’t end up happening and Gambit is banished from the Guild, only to find his way to the X-Men in New York City. It’s worth mentioning that, just because the character’s origins are laid out in the comic books doesn’t mean that the movie’s script won’t take a few creative liberties in bringing Tatum’s version of Gambit to life.
Who would you want to direct the upcoming “Gambit” standalone film? Comment below or tweet your thoughts to @TylerMcCarthy.