20th Century Fox’s long-in-development X-Men spinoff Gambit has hit a roadblock, with Deadline bringing word that director Rupert Wyatt has exited the project before filming could get underway.
Things look to have taken a turn for the better for Fox’s standalone feature after casting Blue is the Warmest Color and Spectre starlet Lea Seydoux in the role of Bella Donna Bourdreaux, though today’s report will no doubt call the superhero film’s 2016 release date into question.
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In an official statement, the Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Gambler helmer levelled on his decision to depart, citing a production clash with another project as the overriding reason for his exit.
“I was very much looking forward to working with my friend Channing and the team at Fox, but regrettably a push in the start date now conflicts with another project. I thank them for the opportunity, and I know that Gambit will make a terrific film.”
Prior to today’s announcement, Deadline notes that Gambit was primed and ready to leap into production this November, though a last-minute reshuffling that pushed the start date into 2016 was the reason behind Wyatt’s departure. Rumors are swirling that budgetary constraints and script doctoring contributed to the filmmaker’s decision to vacate the director’s chair, though this is merely conjecture at this stage and should we treated as such.
While his commitment to the live-action X-Men spinoff looked to be wavering a while back, Channing Tatum remains firmly on board to play the role of Remy LeBeau opposite Seydoux’s character. As far as we understand, Josh Zetumer is still attached to pen the screenplay, too.
Then again, 20th Century Fox will have to act quickly to find a replacement for Wyatt if Gambit really is to be in a fit shape to step in front of the cameras for the film’s planned spring 2016 shoot.
Gambit has been slated for a release on October 7, 2016, though whether Wyatt’s exit negatively affects this tentative window will ultimately be told in time.