Following last month’s brief (very brief) confusion over whether Channing Tatum was fully committed to the Gambit solo movie comes news of an actual shakeup behind the scenes. Director Rupert Wyatt has exited the project, leaving the director’s chair vacant and 20th Century Fox in need of a quick replacement if they hope to make their fall 2016 release date.

Wyatt, who previously directed Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Gambler, was set to begin shooting Gambit early next spring in New Orleans. He released the following statement to Variety:

 

I was very much looking forward to working with my friend Channing and the team at Fox, but regrettably a push in the start date now conflicts with another project. I thank them for the opportunity, and I know that Gambit will make a terrific film.

 

The Wrap reports that the Gambit movie has been "troubled from the start" and suggests that script and budget issues may have played a part in Wyatt’s departure.

Fox is looking to replace Wyatt quickly as the production date is fast approaching, and the film is scheduled to hit theaters next fall. Tatum is attached to star as the titular comic book character, previously portrayed clumsily on screen by Taylor Kitsch in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Lea Seydoux is the studio’s top choice to play Bella Donna Boudreaux, Gambit’s childhood friend and love interest who eventually develops powers of her own.