After years of delays, it seems 20th Century Fox is finally getting ready to pull the trigger on Gambit, with the studio setting a February 14, 2019 release date. As of now, the only other movies slated for release on that date are Warner Bros.’ Isn’t It Romantic, starring Priyanka Chopra and Liam Hemsworth, and an untitled Blumhouse horror project for Universal Pictures. The studio hasn’t released a production schedule for this superhero adaptation, but this release date falls in line with a report from February, which claimed that Gambit starts filming at some point in 2018.
It’s possible that 20th Century Fox is trying to replicate the success of their R-rated superhero movie Deadpool, which also opened on Valentine’s Day weekend in 2016, shattering box office records for highest R-rated opening weekend ($132.4 million) and highest-grossing R-rated movie worldwide ($783.1 million). It helps that there isn’t much competition on this particular weekend, and it’s also strange that the studio is giving this movie a Thursday release directly on Valentine’s Day, instead of giving it a release on Friday, February 15. Perhaps they have a more romantic plan in place for Gambit, although that seems unlikely, but it’s still strange since no other movies have planted their flag on the February 15 date. Still, a week beforehand on February 8, 2019, Warner Bros. will roll out their highly-anticipated sequel The Lego Movie 2, while Sony debuts its superhero spin-off Silver and Black, along with Summit’s Flarsky.
Channing Tatum, who has been attached to play Remy LeBeau/Gambit since 2014, revealed in August that Gambit will start from scratch, following the success of 20th Century Fox’s R-rated superhero movies Deadpool and this year’s Logan. The actor stated that the success of those movies, “really kicked the doors down” and allowed them to do some of the things they always wanted to do. While he doesn’t come out and specifically say it, it seems likely that Gambit will be aiming for an R-rating, to build off their success of Deadpool and Logan. While Hugh Jackman has hung up the claws as Logan/Wolverine, it’s possible that Deadpool could be brought aboard for at least a cameo, but it’s still early in the creative process, since they’re starting a new story from scratch.
The story had previously been described as a “sexy heist thriller,” but now that the writing process is starting over from scratch, it remains to be seen if those elements are still in play. There was also a report last week that Channing Tatum’s Logan Lucky co-star Daniel Craig may come aboard to play the villainous Mr. Sinister, but that character has yet to be confirmed either. There had been rumors that the movie was struggling to find the right tone, but now that the floodgates have seemingly been opened to craft what is believed to be an R-rated superhero movie, it seems those struggles may in fact be over. Since Marvel Studios, Warner Bros./DCEU or Sony have released an R-rated superhero movie yet, it wouldn’t be surprising if 20th Century Fox continues its string of R-rated superhero hits.
The latest we’ve heard about Gambit is that director Gore Verbinski was eyeing the project, although no deal is in place quite yet. Still, if the director does come on board, then we’ll likely be hearing more about casting as the potential 2018 production start date gets closer and closer. Deadline broke the news on this release date change, although no further details about the story, casting, or production were given at this time. Hopefully that changes soon if production does start in just a few months.