The Disney/Fox merger is set to finalize next week, but not so long ago, Fox had several Marvel projects that have since found themselves canceled. One film was Channing Tatum's Gambit, and some new information reveals why the movie took so long to get off the ground.
Talking to Comic Beat, ex-director Rupert Wyatt says that it was the performance of Josh Trank's Fantastic Four/Fant4stic that caused Fox to drastically cut the budget of the Gambit movie, resulting in its cancellation. Wyatt says:
"I was very close with Channing Tatum and his producing partner Reid Carolin, and I was on the script with him and Josh Zetumer as a writer… We were close, I believe 10 weeks away. It simply came down to budget. There was not enough. You know all too well about the politics of the business. Fantastic Four had been released by Fox a month before and had not gone well for them, so our budget was slashed quite considerably. The inevitable, from my perspective, was, ‘Well then we need to rewrite the script to tailor to our budget,' but we were too close to a start date for Fox to really want to go there, so, unfortunately, it just didn't work out."
When it comes to Gambit, it was said to be another one of the genre experiments that Fox was trying on their Marvel properties. If The New Mutants was going to tackle horror, Gambit was said to be a superhero romantic comedy.
"All I know is Channing had a really, really wonderful idea for what that film could and should be… I know he and Reid are still plugging away at it, so I hope in the new Disney era, that then they get to make it."
While I doubt that a full theatrical release for Gambit could happen anytime soon, I think a miniseries or TV movie in Disney+ could work better. Personally, I think Gambit works best as a supporting character, so I would rather have him introduced in an X-Men film before they decide to spin him off. Hopefully, Channing Tatum will still be onboard by then.
The Disney/Fox merger finalizes on March 20. Catch X-Men: Dark Phoenix in theaters June