Why Rupert Wyatt Might Have Left Gambit

When director Rupert Wyatt departed the X-Men spinoff film Gambit, reports claimed it was due to a scheduling conflict. A new report suggests that reasoning is false, and instead the departure is due to a recurring pattern with Wyatt.

Gambit isn’t the first major film Wyatt has bailed out of. After successfully rebooting the Planet of the Apes franchise, he passed on the sequel. He then signed on and dropped out of a project at Warner Bros., and did the same with Sony’s The Equalizer before seeing Parmount’s The Gambler all the way through.

According to THR, as a director who made his name on the indie film The Escapist, Wyatt can have trouble fitting into the big studio structure. He’s a man with vision, but often the studio wants to have some say in that vision. In the case of Gambit, it was star Channing Tatum and producer Simon Kinberg who wanted their input considered.

It’s worth noting that while Wyatt is an auteur, but he’s not raging against the machine. By al accounts he’s considerate, almost to a fault. He has his vision, and if it doesn’t match up with the studio vision, he’s more than willing to bow out amicably, as he has in the past. In this way, his fear of failure makes it easier for him to leave a project than to fight for it.

Fox has already been burned by one auteur director this year, with Josh Trank’s Fanastic Four tanking at the box office. They didn’t believe they’d have that problem with Wyatt, but then the director started to show some ambivalence about the project. With Gambit’s release date only barely over a year away, Fox couldn’t afford a long goodbye, so the conversation was had and Wyatt walked away. Now the studio just has to find a replacement.

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