Bringing GAMBIT to the big-screen has proven to be a difficult task, something that hasn’t yet been accomplished despite years of development overseen by a variety of directors, including Rupert Wyatt. The RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES director came onboard to helm GAMBIT in June 2015 but wound up departing just a few months later. Wyatt recently revealed that the reason why he stepped away from GAMBIT was that the failure of FANTASTIC FOUR had caused 20th Century Fox to rethink their approach to GAMBIT as well as slash the budget.
After Rupert Wyatt left, he was replaced by Doug Liman (EDGE OF TOMORROW) and then Gore Verbinski (A CURE FOR WELLNESS), who both departed the project as well, but Wyatt recently spoke with Collider about what his plan for GAMBIT was. The director described the project as “a really exciting sort of Godfather with mutants set in the world of New Orleans with different gangs,” which also would have, at least partially, been set in the 1970s.
I mean it was a period film. It dealt with the 70s up until the present day. It was about kind of mutant gangs and the notion of what it means to belong, tribalism in this bayou-like environment. The swamps of New Orleans. So it would’ve been a lot of fun. I know Channing sort of worked on the script to make it into more of a romantic comedy, I think. Which I read and it was great, it was very different to what I was involved in. But now Disney have the reins so I don’t know what their plans are.
Rupert Wyatt was also hoping to get the film in shape before production kicked off in an effort to avoid costly reshoots. “Invariably what happens with that kind of process of filmmaking, if people don’t have their ducks in a row, they’ll throw it at the wall and they’ll then realize it’s not sticking, and they’ll then spend the $150 million to get it right,” Wyatt said. “Now as a filmmaker I’ve been through that process and it’s really hard to then end up with a piece of work that actually functions and has a cohesive story to it. I think we were in a place—Channing, me, Reid, the producers—where we didn’t wanna have to go through that experience. We wanted to set out to make a particular film and deliver on that, so the whole process of reshoots and all of that stuff, we didn’t wanna go down that road.” Fox’s latest and potentially final X-MEN film, DARK PHOENIX, will hit theaters on June 7, 2019.