Lessons to be learned for Gambit Movie: Will it get a taste of Venom or be as big as Batman Begins?
Gambit Movie and Venom – two spin-off movies comic book fans have been itching rather impatiently for since their announcement, just can’t seem to rise to the occasion. Despite both being supported by big Hollywood backers, consistent clashes in vision has seen entire scripts re-written and release dates being repeatedly pushed back, sometimes years at a time.
Produced by American film-star Channing Tatum, Gambit was billed to shine in the same light as it’s X-Men offshoot sibling Wolverine – a franchise that’s seen major success in the box office with Hugh Jackman playing the lead of Logan, a mutant with prestigious healing powers and an adamantium steel skeleton. Logan, the latest film from the Wolverine world released in 2017 – even became the first superhero movie to receive an Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay.
Gambit Movie Director dilemma
So, if such major success can emerge from a lone character from the X-Men franchise, why has Gambit Movie struggled to meet the mark so far? With a release date being pushed back to June 2019 from February of the same year, Tatum’s passion project has seen three directors walk away from the role since production began. Gore Verbinski, the film’s latest director, named conflicts in his schedule the reason for his departure, while his predecessor Doug Liman stated he just could not connect with the script. Rupert Wyatt, famed director of The Planet of the Apes trilogy, was originally assigned the role back in 2015 but claimed excessive micromanagement and conflicting vision with FOX forced his abandonment of the project. In August 2017, Tatum stated the entire movie was to be rewritten – and claims that the rave successes of Deadpool and Logan has helped to breathe new life into the project and will inspire FOX to take a chance on a new, more visceral direction. So will fox gamble on Gambit Movie? It looks like it will eventually come out in 2019.
However, it seems Gambit Movie isn’t the only superhero flick to suffer from the inevitability of creative conflict recently. Unfortunately, while Venom appears to finally be wrapping up production duties ready for a release later this year, it’s been a rocky road travelled. Originally announced for production a decade ago in 2008, the Spiderman offshoot has been challenged with everything from complete script and screenplay overhauls, changes in lead roles and repeated release date push backs. The film’s saving grace has appeared to be British actor Tom Hardy, who like Tatum, chose to back the project due to his personal love for the lead character. Hardy completed filming in January of this year and his massive popularity has been able to draw significant attention to the project from mainstream movie fans, not just superhero buffs. The Amazing Spiderman series’ original Venom, Topher Grace was originally billed to fill the role – but Sony didn’t think Grace was the right first for such an intense and visceral villain. But Sony didn’t quite stop there – original writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese were dropped after only their second draft of the script, and were replaced by Gary Ross. Not only would Ross rewrite the script, but he was also hired to co-direct and produce the movie. Sony then touted Venom’s to be released following The Amazing Spiderman 3 in 2016, but a bad day at the box office left the producers wary and pushed back the unveiling of the off-shoot even further. This time with a screenplay written by Alex Kurtzman, Robert Orci and Ed Solomon – with Kurzman also handling directing duties. In 2016, Sony finally announced that 05th October 2018 would be the day superhero fans finally saw the infamous villain hit the theatres – but also stated Kurzman would no longer be involved in the project. The screenplay would now be written by Scott Rosenberg, Ruben Fleischer would direct, and Tom Hardy would fill the lead role of Eddie Brock.
Is shared vision the key to superhero success?
In a world with such high stakes as Hollywood, a solid shared vision seems to be the key to success. Critically acclaimed franchises such as the Batman world has seen repeated appearances from what appears to be a magic formula of director and cast. Director Christopher Nolan was able to consistently grow, adapt and share his directional vision through The Dark Knight Trilogy – with actor Christian Bale capturing audiences through his role as the misunderstood hero. To this day The Dark Knight Trilogy continues to expand through merchandise and gaming. Super Casino in the UK even hosts its own online Batman Begins slot game, which is licensed and uses characters, objects and sounds from the film, while hands-on fans can reconstruct the entire Batmobile out of LEGO. The shared vision of the team behind The Dark Knight Rises ensured consistent themes throughout each movie, a solid cast and consistent release dates. Promotion and marketing play an undeniably important part in the success of each movie – and the excitement of fans is deliberately built up to peak right as the film hits the big screen. This high level of hype can only last so long, so keeping fans waiting is a sure fire way to burn out their interest. The Dark Knight Trilogy’s star-studded cast and excellent promotional play on the dark theme of each ensured film fans literally went crazy for each new release. It seems that this style of shared vision and uniformed identity was certainly behind the massive success of Nolan and co.