20th Century Fox made a big splash earlier today with new release dates for several in-development projects like New Mutants, Deadpool 2, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Those are enticing prospects on their own, but there is one conspicuous absence from the lot, that being the oft-delayed Gambit solo film.
The project has been in development since 2014, and it seems it only makes the news these days for losing things, specifically directors. The only thing it hasn't lost is its lead actor, which is currently Channing Tatum. Previous comments from X-Men producer Simon Kinberg put it in "active development", and aimed for it to be "ready to go by the end of this year and shoot next year". Coincidentally three X-Men films were given release dates today, and all of them are for 2018. They span the whole year as well, with New Mutants hitting on April 3, Deadpool 2 hitting June 1, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix hitting last on November 2. This leaves little room for another X-Men solo film, especially when you consider that FOX isn't the only studio putting out superhero fare that year.
Gambit, regardless of how good it ends up being, would be sandwiched between other competition like Black Panther, The Flash, Incredibles 2, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Venom, Aquaman, an animated Spider-Man film, and oh yeah, Avengers: Infinity War. As FOX learned with X-Men: Apocalypse, having too many out at the same time can dwindle your box office earnings. Combined with Kinberg's other comments, it seems Gambit at the earliest would be moved to 2019, otherwise, it would seem FOX is cutting it off at the knees. Here are the full comments from Kinberg on the matter.
"It's a movie that we hope will be ready to go by the end of this year and shoot next year. We have two or three X-Men related movies this year so it can wait for a moment. The process has been that Channing [Tatum] is as determined about getting the character right as Ryan Reynolds was about Deadpool and Hugh [Jackman] was about this Logan movie. We know that when we get those right, the movie succeeds so we want to make sure we get Gambit right because we want him to be the beginning of a whole new franchise."
If FOX is indeed still in active development on the project, fans probably won't be seeing it until 2019, but rest assured they won't be seeing it as of December 31st of 2017, as the current release date reads.
Logan is now playing in theaters, while Gambit still has a release date of December 31 of 2017, though that is likely going to change. Deadpool 2 is slated for March 2, 2018, with the New Mutants project coming up next on June 29, 2018. An Untitled X-Men project is also currently dated for July 13, 2018.