Gore Verbinski has decided against directing “Gambit,” Channing Tatum’s X-Men spinoff for Fox, sources said Thursday.
Verbinski left the project due to creative differences, sources told Variety.
Tatum is producing with partner Reid Carolin through their Free Association production company, along with Simon Kinberg. “Gambit” has been in development for several years at Fox with Rupert Wyatt and Doug Liman previously attached as directors. Wyatt departed in October 2015, while Liman left in August 2016.
Tatum closed his deal to star in and produce “Gambit” in 2015, shortly after appearing at Fox’s Comic-Con panel with the cast of X-Men.
The Gambit character was created in 1990 by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee. An expert card-thrower, the New Orleans native has the ability to mentally create, control, and manipulate kinetic energy. Also known as Remy LeBeau, his weapons include a staff and a deck of playing cards. Gambit first appeared on the big screen in 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” portrayed by Taylor Kitsch.
Joshua Zetumer wrote the script for “Gambit,” which is scheduled for a Feb. 14, 2019 release. Fox had three X-Men movies scheduled for this year with “New Mutants” set to open April 13, “Deadpool 2” on June 1, and “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” on Nov. 2 but after Verbinski’s exit, the studio moved “Deadpool 2” forward by two weeks to May 18, and moved “New Mutants” back to Feb. 22, 2019, and “Gambit” back by four months to June 7, 2019.
Verbinski had come on board “Gambit” in October. His credits include “A Cure for Wellness,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Rango,” and the first three “Pirates of the Caribbean” films. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.