Director Rupert Wyatt Walks Away From 'Gambit'

The Fox movie Gambit, which is set to star Channing Tatum as Marvel's Cajun mutant, needs a new director. Rupert Wyatt, who did Fox's successful film Rise of the Planet of the Apes and was set up to direct the film earlier this summer, has walked away from the movie.

Deadline has the first report, but it is THR which reports that script issues led to budget problems, which in turn led to Wyatt's exit. Reading between the lines we don't know if the script and budget issue is delaying the film, but that's what seems to be the case. Perhaps there was a scheduling issue for Wyatt which led to his departure.

Update: Since our first publication, THR updated its piece with a quote from Wyatt who indeed blames scheduling issues for his departure:

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.

Gambit has been inching towards a shoot date, with our last report pegging the shoot happening this fall. But Deadline is now saying a Louisiana shoot was set for spring 2016. If that's correct, that means the script issues are incurring a significant delay.

It also means the previously planned October 7, 2016 release was unlikely. So there's some info to untangle here, and at this point the Gambit schedule will hinge in part on the availability of a replacement director, but that script is really going to be the issue that defines the film's calendar. We'd guess Fox will hire someone quickly, but how that will affect other developments on the film is uncertain.

The current script is by Josh Zetumer, based on a treatment by Gambit co-creator Chris Claremont. Gambit features Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin, Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg as producers.

Gambit is also set to star Lea Seydoux as a lead character opposite Tatum, but we'll see what this complication does to that deal. This film seems to be a tricky proposition, with rumors dogging the movie for a few months.

Perhaps that has do to with Hugh Jackman's impending departure from the role of Wolverine. With Jackman walking away, Fox might want another star character to hinge future X-Men movies around, and it's easy to see why Channing Tatum's Gambit could be that guy. But Tatum and Carolin seem more interested in making a movie that has its own personality rather than something that is a building block for other franchise films.