Fox has canceled the October 7, 2016 release date for Channing Tatum’s Gambit movie, and announced the release dates for two untitled Marvel projects, the first on October 6, 2017 and the second on January 12, 2018.
At the moment, that’s all we know, although it’s hardly surprising. There will definitely be a Deadpool sequel, and Gambit was never going to be done in time to come out this year, not when it hasn’t even started filming yet. Ergo, the logical assumption is that Gambit has been pushed back a full year to October 6, 2017 and Deadpool 2 will drop on January 12, 2018.
But would Fox really want to put out Deadpool 2 in January? Generally, when a movie like Deadpool blows away all box office projections and breaks records worldwide the studio figures, “We have no idea how this happened, but we’d better put out the sequel over that same weekend a couple of years from now since it clearly worked the first time.” As such, you’d think Deadpool 2 would be a Valentine’s Day movie just like its predecessor. Maybe that’s not possible since the final Fifty Shades movie and an untitled Warner Bros. animation project are already due that weekend in 2018 followed by Marvel Studios’ Black Panther a week later.
What if none of this has anything to do with either Gambit or Deadpool 2? Fox has long been developing X-Force, which surely moved up on the priority list since the Merc with a Mouth has always been vital to the team of mercenaries which make up the X-Force unit in the comics. Furthermore, Fault In Our Stars director Josh Boone was hired last May to co-write and direct The New Mutants, an X-Men spin-off I think of as X-Men: The Next Generation. Maybe these two new release dates are for those movies.
-Devil’s advocate: what if Gambit has actually been canceled altogether?
Whoa there. Where the hell did that come from?
-They did just “cancel” the release date, and if they’re pushing it back a year why not tell us that?
-Plus, Gambit has thus far followed in the grand X-Men movie tradition of being a troubled production.
True. Its first director, Rupert Wyatt, dropped out last September after just four months on the job, and last I checked their pick for a replacement, Doug Liman, hadn’t officially taken the job even though everyone assumes The Hollywood Reporter saying he was “near a deal” is the same as “finished a deal.”
In fact, there has been next to no news about this movie for quite a while other than producer Simon Kinberg indicating he hoped they could start in the Spring and that they’d film in New Orleans. Tatum’s already booking other projects, like a musical comedy with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and 23 Jump Street. Several of the actresses, including Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation‘s Rebecca Ferguson, in the running for the female lead have already moved on.
-So, like I said, this movie is dead, dead, dead
Not necessarily. It just means that this movie, which clearly wasn’t ready to start filming yet, is no longer officially tied to a release date thus giving them the extra time to get things right. Delaying it a year, if indeed that’s what they’re doing, should hopefully give them the time to pull it together and possibly make any course corrections they deem fit in a post-Deadpool world.
-Fine. Whatever. Let’s wrap this up.
X-Men comic book fans have long argued about Deadpool and Gambit, particularly the latter since he’s just as likely to end up on a list of most overrated X-Men characters as he is to be ranked among the best X-Men characters of all time. Well, now Deadpool not only has his own movie but an insta-film franchise. Gambit? Well, they’re still figuring out what to do with him. He’s officially off the schedule now, but that doesn’t mean he’s gone for good.