The Hollywood Reporter broke news today that the already-delayed X-Men offshoot feature Gambit took another blow as director Doug Liman (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) exited the feature, marking the second filmmaker to depart the Fox project; Channing Tatum is still attached to headline the Marvel Comics character as well as produce the film. A source close to the Hollywood Reporter relays that Liman’s departure was a “mutual parting of the ways.” Curiously, this is the second filmmaker to step down from the film following the exit of Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes).
Gambit, which tells the presumed origins of the titular New Orleans-based mutant whose abilities involve the manipulation of kinetic energy and whose outfit includes a staff and a deck of playing cards, was set to go under cameras this January. The film was originally set to starting shooting in the fall of 2015 and then early this year but hasn’t been able to get off the ground due to the exits of directors as well as multiple script re-writes. Josh Zetumer is currently on deck to handle script revisions. Fox appears to want to stay on course with the planned January start of production so the search for a new director is on.
Liman, who started his career directing scrappy indies like Swingers and Go in the late 1990s, quickly moved up into blockbuster territory and includes hits like The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Edge of Tomorrow on his filmography. His next feature is the Amazon Studios drama The Wall starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers: Age of Ultron) which recently wrapped production. Liman is also slated to re-team with Tom Cruise on the upcoming sci-fi adventure Luna Park.
We will stay tuned to future developments involving Gambit‘s murky adventure to the silver screen.