Since it was first announced, the X-Men spinoff Gambit starring Channing Tatum has had to overcome a number of hurdles. Now, according to Omega Underground, production on the film has been pulled off of Fox’s schedule entirely, after director Gore Verbinski dropped out earlier this month.
The film was first pushed when its original director, Rupert Wyatt, abandoned the project in 2015. Then in 2016, its new release date of October 17, 2016 was delayed to make room for Ridley Scott’s sci-fi saga Alien: Covenant. Director Doug Liman also dropped out in August of 2016.
Gambit's titular mutant is an expert card-thrower from New Orleans who has the power to control and create kinetic energy. The character first appeared on screen in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, when he was played by Taylor Kitsch. The oft-delayed film was expected to continue production in New Orleans, Louisiana even after Verbinski’s departure, but it no longer looks like that's the case. According to Variety, Verbinski dropped out over creative differences.
Omega Underground speculates that production could even be moved to Montreal, Quebec instead of NOLA, since many other X-Men films have been shot in the Canadian city. Fox recently moved the release date of Gambit to June 7, 2019, but this new setback will likely push it back even further.
It’s not totally uncommon for comic book movies to be riddled with delays. Remember, Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool took 11 years to produce. Meanwhile, Fox has three other X-Men movies scheduled to come out in the next year including Deadpool 2 (May 2018), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (November 2018), and New Mutants (February 2019).