The long saga that is ‘Gambit’ may get a new director in Doug Liman

There's a new chapter in the story of “Gambit,” the “X-Men” spinoff and Channing Tatum passion project that always threatens to not quite happen: another director!

Following Rupert Wyatt's departure in September (the official story is scheduling conflicts, but, according to reports, he wanted to rewrite the film and Fox said no, so he dropped out), Doug Liman is in final talks to direct.

Variety said this morning that it was a done deal, but that article has now disappeared, so we're left with The Hollywood Reporter's story that Liman is in “final negotiations.” 

The project has gone through a few ups and downs. Though Taylor Kitsch played Gambit in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” Tatum, a big fan of the character, was announced as the new Gambit last year. Then, in January, we found out that Tatum would star in a standalone Gambit film, set to be released in October 2016. Tatum even went to Comic-Con to promote it. In June, Rupert Wyatt (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”) was set to direct the film. 

But then … there was trouble. There were reports that Tatum was going to leave the project. A few days later, it was reported that Tatum closed the deal to star in the film and so wouldn't be leaving anytime soon. Then, in September, Wyatt dropped out, leaving the studio scrambling to find a replacement and still make the planned October 7, 2016 release date. 

If Liman does end up signing on (and not pulling a Wyatt and dropping out), he'll be a good choice, having also helmed “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” and, of course, “The Bourne Identity.”