Reid Carolin is set to make his directorial debut this month with “Dog,” which he also co-wrote. But make no mistake, Carolin is no newcomer to Hollywood, having produced a number of films and even, at one point, was attached to co-direct the superhero film, “Gambit,” years ago.
Speaking to The Playlist Editor-in-Chief, Rodrigo Perez, about his upcoming film, “Dog” (the full interview coming soon), Reid Carolin took some time to go through the saga that was attempting to bring “Gambit” to life on the big screen. For those unaware, “Gambit” is a superhero film that was being developed by Fox before the Disney merger and would have seen Channing Tatum suit up as the ‘X-Men’ character.
Carolin noted the project went through multiple directors, such as Rupert Wyatt, Doug Liman, and Gore Verbinski, who were all attached at one point—with several others contemplating it over the years. While he didn’t address it specifically, Reid and Tatum were hoping to make it their directorial debut (they co-directed “Dog” instead).
Carolin said they produced it for over five years, actively worked on it for about two years straight nearly every day to get the script in shape. It went through “multiple versions of the script and finally found the one that I think that was going to be really awesome.”
“It is still one of my favorite scripts I’ve ever read—I mean I worked on it, so it’s easy to say that,” Carolin explained.
“I think it played really well in the ‘Deadpool’ universe at Fox, Emma Watts had really championed it at Fox,” he continued. “They made ‘Deadpool’ at Fox and they understood that when you went a little punk rock with these characters you could pop some wheelies and really attract an audience.”
What would his and Tatum’s version of “Gambit” look like? Carolin went on to explain the unique setting for the film, presenting a new version of New Orleans that resembled a superpowered version of “Goodfellas.”
“We made this world in New Orleans that was a city of mutants that didn’t care about saving the world,” the filmmaker explained. “They went there so they could use their powers to party and hook up, and their hands could fry the grease at MacDonald’s and whatever else and the hardest thing for them to do was to fall in love because they could read each other’s minds, or when they got into a fight, they could turn a table into a grenade and send their partner to the hospital or whatever. So, it was all this kind of low-level mutant fights and disagreements and we set in this world of the Mafia—almost kind of like a mutant ‘Goodfellas‘ in New Orleans.”
Reid said the movie was cast, a crew was ready to shoot it and they were a few months away from shooting, “when ultimately Disney scrapped it.”
Could it come back one day? Are he and Channing even interested in that? The short answer: yes.
“I hope so, I really do,” Reid said of reviving the project with Marvel. “Those guys at Marvel have a really good thing going and I’m sure they have a plan that I don’t know about for the ‘X-Men’ universe and I’m not going to tell them how to do their jobs, they’re nailing it. But I hold out hope that maybe someday it’ll come back—Channing is perfect for the role. And as long as they keep making ‘Deadpool’ a character, he’ll need a world to play in and… if they want some more characters like that, I think [they should] come our way.”
Marvel Studios has yet to announce its plans for the “X-Men” universe. And judging by the upcoming release schedule, it wouldn’t appear there’s even room for an “X-Men” film, let alone “Gambit,” for a few more years, at least. So, even if the script for “Gambit” gets dusted off and Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin get to bring it to life, we still are a long way from actually seeing it.
– Additional reporting by Rodrigo Perez. More from this “Dog” interview soon.