Fox has been successfully revitalizing the X-Men franchise with hits like Deadpool and Logan. Now, the studio has three more heroic mutant adventures slated for release in the coming years: #NewMutants, #Deadpool2 and #XMenDarkPhoenix. One movie that hasn't been able to get off the ground, however, has been Gambit.
The Channing-Tatum starring film about the suave thief has been a rollercoaster ride. For every time things are looking bright and seem to going smoothly, a setback occurs.
After #RupertWyatt stepped down the director's chair in 2015, Doug Liman stepped in. With Liman's body of work, fans were excited to see what he would bring to the character and his lore. Unfortunately, he took on another project — Amazon's The Wall — while Gambit underwent story changes. And shortly after that, he quit and chose another big-budget superhero adventure in DC's #DarkUniverse. It was a puzzling move that left the film in a state of limbo it currently can't get out of, but what exactly happened? Why would Doug Liman quit as director after being attached for so long? Thanks to Liman himself, we finally have an answer.
No Connection To The Story
The director sat down for an interview with LRM, in which he was asked about his decision to step down from Gambit in favor of other projects. Liman gave a brutally honest answer, stating he simply did not connect with the script, citing Matt Damon's strict script mindset:
“I'm all about the script, and I just wasn't feeling it. I've gotta connect to the script. On 'Bourne Identity,' Matt Damon was always referring to himself as a 'script whore,' and I'm with Matt on that. It's like, you feel the script, that's everything. We make movies because we want to tell great stories. 'The Wall' started with a contest Amazon ran, and Dwain's script rose to the top, and then it got handed to me.”
That's surprising, after all, he was attached to the project for over a year. But that time may have been focused on getting the script where he wanted it to be. While his answer may seem cold, it's refreshing to see a director that decided to step away from an attractive blockbuster because of his inability to connect with the story and the characters. That speaks volume about the care that will most likely go to the development of Live Die Repeat and Repeat and Dark Universe.
Now, does his statement mean Gambit is bad? Not at all; the project simply differed from his creative vision. Fans had a big question mark over their heads when Gambit was announced: Even though it has the potential to be a cool heist movie that would give Fox the chance to present the more grounded mythology of the #XMen, does Remy Lebeau deserve the blockbuster treatment? As with any obscure superhero property, there's a possibility.
So, does that mean it could work? Absolutely. But as Liman's interview just showed us, it needs the right storyteller, someone who can connect with the character and his world. Hopefully, Liman manages to give us some incredible stories with his new films and Gambit gets to be another hit for the X-Men universe.
What did you think of Doug Liman's comments about leaving Gambit? Let me know in the comments!