Gambit Movie Circling Doug Liman to Direct

Director Doug Liman is under consideration to direct Fox’s Gambit movie

A month ago, word came through that director Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Gambler) had exited his role as helmer of the upcoming X-Men spinoff feature, Gambit. Both Channing Tatum and Lea Seydoux remain attached to the feature, which had planned to shoot in New Orleans next spring, and now according to Deadline, it seems like it might be getting back on track with an ace helmer known for big action: Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Edge of Tomorrow). 

TheWrap‘s Jeff Sneider confirmed that Tatum has been courting Liman for the director’s seat, although there are many obstacles that may get in the way of that, not least of which is the fact that the filmmaker just wrapped the Tom Cruise drug-smuggling drama Mena and will be deep in post to make that film’s January 6, 2017 release date. He also has two more possible Cruise-led tentpole films on his dance card, including Edge of Tomorrow 2 and his long-in-development sci-fi passion project Luna Park.

Then there’s the issue of Liman himself, who is known within the industry for turning in successful films that nonetheless tend to go far over budget and schedule. Massive reshoots were required on both Bourne and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, while Jumper replaced its lead actor several weeks into the shoot. Even his small-scale indie film Go involved radical re-shaping in post, and for a film like Gambit, someone like Liman might be just another element of chance in an already stacked deck. 

Wyatt’s departure isn’t the first setback to befall the Gambit movie. Back in July, it was revealed that leading man Channing Tatum was dropping out of the project, although the 21 Jump Street star ended up working out a deal to headline the following month.

Created by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee in 1990, Gambit, a New Orleans native mutant, quickly became a fan favorite due to his kinetic energy manipulation abilities and penchant for stealing. The character’s only big screen appearance to date (outside his name being featured as an Easter egg in X2) was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, played by Taylor Kitsch.

Gambit features a script by Josh Zemuter, based on a treatment by Chris Claremont. Tatum, Reid Carolin, Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg are producing. The film was previously scheduled for a release on October 7, 2016 and is set to follow both the X-Men spinoff Deadpool on February 15, 2016 and Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016.

(Photo credit: Bridow /