The X-Men spinoff was originally scheduled for an October 7, 2016 release, which would make it the third of three X-Men movies that Fox were releasing next year. However, producer Simon Kinberg has confirmed that Gambit won't even start shooting until next spring, making a 2016 release impossible.
In an interview with Collider, Kinberg discussed the search for a new director, who has since been identified as Edge of Tomorrow's Doug Liman. "We have a director in and I don’t know if I’m allowed to say who it is yet because his deal isn’t done, but it’s somebody we’re excited about, and somebody I adore, and hopefully we can make an announcement soon about that," he said.
"But we’ve been spending a lot of time together--Channing, [Reid Carolin, Tatum’s producing partner], [screenwriter Joshua Zetumer], the director, and myself--just working on the script, and we hope to start shooting next spring."
The pre-production process on Gambit was delayed following the departure of Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt in September. He left the project stating that a "push in the start date now conflicts with another project," but a subsequent story in The Hollywood Reporter suggested that it was creative differences that led to his exit.
In the Collider interview, Kinberg also spoke about how Gambit would fit into the expanding X-Men universe, which also features Deadpool and the ongoing main X-Men series. "Deadpool obviously has a very different, almost antithetical tone to the mainline X-Men movies," he said. "The X-Men movies are dramatic and almost operatic, whereas Deadpool is irreverent and hysterical and sort of a dirty R-rated comedy in many ways. And Gambit will have its own different flavor and tone to it, will be more of like a heist movie and a sexy thriller."
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