Just when it seemed things couldn’t get worse for 20th Century Fox following the debacle that was “Fantastic Four,” a couple of weeks back it was reported that Rupert Wyatt had exited the studio’s “Gambit.” The reasoning was that there was a “scheduling conflict,” which seemed odd considering lensing was slated to begin this fall. But now, production has been pushed to next spring for the Channing Tatum vehicle which is still slated to open on October 7, 2016 (don’t count on that release date holding), and as per usual, the story about Wyatt leaving the project is beginning to surface.
While it’s nothing near as salacious as what went on with Josh Trank and “Fantastic Four,” THR reports that Wyatt left for a simple reason: creative control. According to the trade, Wyatt was as good a collaborator as anyone could want (“He shows up. He comes early. He stays late. He’s got good ideas.”) but he definitely wants to ensure he gets his vision on the big screen. And when dealing with a project that costs over $100 million, and involves the input from those with suits, that can cause friction. The bottom line? Wyatt had his concept for “Gambit,” and it wasn’t one that Fox was ready to roll with.
The trade notes that Wyatt has been gaining a reputation for bailing on projects — “The Equalizer,” “The Terminal Spy,” “Dawn Of The Planet The Apes” (which he apparently left for similar reasons as “Gambit”) — which may have given him a not so great reputation among Hollywood, but his agent, Brian Swardstrom, takes a different tack, saying, “Many have ended up in director’s jail when they didn’t walk away, and perhaps they should have.” Touché.
For now, Wyatt is working on an original project, “Goliath,” over at Paramount where he made the underrated (and underseen) “The Gambler.” So it seems at least one studio has faith in the director, who would rather make movies on his own terms than make them at all.