The Gambit movie has been in the works for a long, long time, but it sounds like the film has changed significantly during that development process. While Fox has been toying with the idea of making a Gambit movie for years, it really came into focus in 2014, when Channing Tatum was announced as the star and producer of the movie. Since that time, however, the film has gone through a number of directors and iterations. First Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) signed on to take the helm and cast Lea Seydoux as Gambit’s love interest Bella. Then Wyatt left due to scheduling difficulties and Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) took his place, only to himself depart a few months later. In October 2017, Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) signed on to direct and the film finally looked like it was going to happen, but a few months before filming was due to begin, Verbinski left over creative differences.
Now 20th Century Fox has announced a new release date for the film—March 13, 2020—but given the trouble getting this thing off the ground, fans are understandably dubious. So when Collider’s own Steve Weintraub sat down for an exclusive interview with producer Simon Kinberg to discuss Dark Phoenix, he had to ask about Gambit—specifically if the version of the film they’re developing now is significantly different than previous iterations:
‘You are absolutely right [that this is a different version]. There are elements that are similar, but it is different in tone, almost in sub-genre—one of the things that we’ve done with these standalone movies […] is that we’ve tried to create sort of sub-genres within the superhero genre when it comes to these standalone movies; even Deadpool itself is like a raunchy R-rated comedy, not just a superhero film. So Gambit became something different over the span of developing it with Channing, with his partner Reid [Carolin], with Josh Zetumer the screenwriter. It is something that we intend to make but listen I’m Jewish, so my expectation for everything is I don’t believe anything until it’s out in movie theaters. So I share your cynicism generally, but in this particular case we’re working very hard to get the movie going.”
Previously Gambit was described as a heist film, but Kinberg says the focus has now shifted to a love story:
“It still has elements of a heist movie. It has elements of a romantic comedy and elements of a heist movie because he is a thief, but it is a love story between him and Bella.”
This change in tone may have been one of the reasons for Verbinski’s departure, or perhaps the film evolved after the most recent filmmaker left the director’s chair. Regardless, if Gambit is indeed a love story, there’s an opportunity to hire an exciting filmmaker out of left field to come in and really knock this thing out of the park. Claire Scanlon did an incredible job helming the delightful Netflix romantic comedy Set It Up. Just saying…