Filmmaker Rupert Wyatt says 20th Century Fox’s 2015 misfire Fantastic Four was the reason why the studio put brakes on Gambit.
Gambit, to be headlined by Channing Tatum, was long in the pipeline at the studio and Wyatt, best known for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, boarded the project in June 2015. He, however, announced his departure in September the same year.
The director detailed the reasons for his exit in an interview with ComicsBeat.
“I was very close with Channing Tatum and his producing partner Reid Carolin, and I was on the script with him and Josh Zetumer as a writer. We were close, I believe 10 weeks away. It simply came down to budget. There was not enough. You know all too well about the politics of the business. Fantastic Four had been released by Fox a month before and had not gone well for them, so our budget was slashed quite considerably,” Wyatt said.
“The inevitable, from my perspective was, ‘Well then we need to rewrite the script to tailor to our budget,’ but we were too close to a start date for Fox to really want to go there… So unfortunately, it just didn’t work out,” he added.
Fantastic Four, directed by Josh Trank, featured an impressive cast of Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B Jordan, Jamie Bell and Toby Kebbell. The film was a major box office disappointment for the studio as it garnered a paltry 168 million dollars at the global box office against the over 150 million dollars budget.
Wyatt said Tatum had a “wonderful idea for what that film could and should be”.
Gambit is now expected to be shelved post the finalisation of Fox’s merger with Disney.