Why X-Men Spinoff Gambit Has Been Delayed, According to Producer

"I hope that Gambit doesn't take ten years."

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While the next two movies in the extended X-Men movie universe--Wolverine 3 and Deadpool 2--are set for release in the next 18 months, the fate of Gambit remains uncertain. The film has been beset by delays, from major rewrites to directors leaving the project, and is yet to start production. Now producer Simon Kinberg has provided an update on the situation.

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Speaking to Slashfilm, Kinberg admitted that getting the right tone for Gambit, which will star Channing Tatum as the card-throwing superhero of the title, was taking some time. "I think the truth is when you have these movies that need a very special and unique tone, it takes a little while to find [it]," he said. "Deadpool feels like it exploded out of nowhere but it was a ten-year development process on that movie. I think it was honed over those ten years.

"I hope that Gambit doesn't take ten years but it takes a little honing to get that tone and that voice exactly right. The character has such a specific voice in the comic in the same way that Deadpool has a specific voice in the comic, that we want to make sure that we capture that voice on the page. Really it's just about getting a screenplay that is worthy of that character and I think we're really close right now."

Gambit was originally scheduled for release in October this year, with Rise of the Planet of the Apes' Rupert Wyatt as director. He left the film in September 2015, citing citing scheduling conflicts. However, a story in Deadline at the time suggested that there had been ongoing disagreements over both the script and budget.

Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman was hired late last year, with production rescheduled for this spring. That also failed to happen, with the start date moved to end of the 2016 to allow time for further rewrites. Last month, Kinberg stated that he hoped the film would start production next spring.

Liman is attached to two other projects--the thriller The Wall and Young Adult adaptation Chaos Walking--but he still officially remains on board to helm Gambit.

Like Deadpool, Gambit is a character spun off from the X-Men, first appearing in a 1990 issue of The Uncanny X-Men. He appeared briefly in 2009's critically panned X-Men Origins: Wolverine, portrayed by Taylor Kitsch.

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