Doug Liman Explains Why He Won’t Direct The GAMBIT Movie
I’ve honestly been waiting for a Gambit movie my entire life. He is by far my favorite member of the X-Men. He blows shit up with the touch of his hand. How can you get more rad than that? Runnin’ around all tough with a trench coat, bow staff and a deck of cards. You can’t really beat that. C’mon…a freakin’ deck of cards! Getting Channing Tatum to play the popular hero was a key victory which I fully endorse…but where’s my damn movie FOX?!
Director Doug Liman recently explained why he left the slow-developing X-Men spinoff Gambit. A longtime X-Men comic book favorite, Remy LaBeau/Gambit, amazingly, has only shown up in the live-action film series once, played by Taylor Kitsch in the first mutant movie spinoff, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The star of the fan-maligned 2009 film, however, was clearly Hugh Jackman, and Kitsch, while solid in a supporting role, never got a chance to reprise the character in another film (unlike Ryan Reynolds, who righted a total wrong by finally getting to redeem Deadpool last year).
Gambit’s lengthy development history is just too long to fully explore here, but the last we heard about it, Tatum is still attached and it’s in “active development,” with the hope being to start shooting early next year. While that sounds somewhat promising, we’ll believe it when we see it. Gambit has been in development hell for what seems like forever now, and no matter who becomes attached to the project, it just can’t get off the ground.
For the longest time, Doug Liman was set to direct. He got quite involved as well, remaining on board for a long time before shockingly pulling out and heading over to DC to make Justice League Dark for them, which is still in the works. At the time, no real reason was given for the director’s departure, but now that the dust has settled, it seems like Liman’s ready to talk about what went wrong.
Collider’s own Christina Radish spoke with the filmmaker in anticipation of his new film The Wall and asked him why he exited the Gambit movie:
“I never formed a connection. Many of these movies, I don’t have the connection on day one, but I find the connection. I just never found it. I don’t always find a connection. I want to make a movie that, if anybody else made it, it would be different. When I went to make Swingers, I showed the script to a friend of mine, and she said, ‘Why would you want to make this movie? The Trent character’ – who was played by Vince Vaughn – ‘is totally unlikeable.’ I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I love Trent! That’s the reason I’m making this movie!’ She was like, ‘You’re crazy! He’s totally unlikeable!’ And then, I made the movie and she saw the movie, and she was like, ‘You’re right, he is likeable.’ And then, I went to make Go and I showed the script to the same friend, and she said, ‘I don’t know why you’d make this movie. Nobody in this film is likeable!’ Right in that moment, it clicked. I was like, ‘I get it! I need to make Go, for the same reason that I needed to make Swingers. Somebody else making Swingers might have made Vince Vaughn’s character into an asshole and been judgmental about him.’ My specific take on that character is what the audience then took away, so I knew that I needed to make Go because my version of Go celebrated those characters instead of being judgmental of them. I knew that everybody would like those characters because I liked them.”
Liman also mentioned to Collider that the experience on Go was formative, and is part of what ultimately drove him away from the Gambit movie:
“Ever since Go, I’ve looked for that personal connection where, because of the experiences I’ve had in life, if I tell this story, it will be fundamentally different than if any other director tells it, even if the experience I’m talking about is the previous movie I’ve made. My version of Mr. & Mrs. Smith would be fundamentally different than any other director’s version of Mr. & Mrs. Smith because I just made The Bourne Identity. I made a movie that celebrated someone being an action hero, and no one else is going to have had that experience, going into Mr. & Mrs. Smith, to then reject it and choose to embrace the exact opposite. That’s part of what didn’t click for me on Gambit, in finding that unique way in.”
Who would you like to see Direct the Gambit movie? Let us know in the comments!