Director Doug Liman exits ‘Gambit’ to helm ‘Dark Universe’ for DC, Warner Bros.

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 25 (UPI) — Director Doug Liman has exited Fox and Marvel’s X-Men spinoff Gambit in order to helm Dark Universe for rival DC Comics and Warner Bros.

According to Variety, Dark Universe is an adaptation of DC’s Justice League Dark, a supernatural team of anti-heroes consisting of characters John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Zatanna and Etrigan the Demon who take on mystic threats the Justice League cannot handle.

Liman replaces Guillermo del Toro who has been attached to the project for some time. The film produced by Scott Rudin and written by Michael Gilio is expected to play a large role in Warner Bros. DC extended universe.

John Constantine, an occult detective and demon hunter, was orginally portrayed on-screen by Keanu Reeves in 2005’s Constantine and most recently by Mat Ryan in an NBC drama focused around the character that was cancelled in 2015 after one season.

Swamp Thing has also appeared in a film before, 1982’s Swamp Thing directed by Wes Craven that starred Dick Durock in the title role.

Liman was previously attached to direct the long in-development Gambit starring Channing Tatum but after signing onto Dark Universe, has officially exited the project according to The Hollywood Reporter who notes that the split was amicable.

Tatum is still attached to star with Fox still intent on starting production in early 2017. A search for a new director is already underway.

Gambit has had a rocky production so far with Tatum previously rumored to have been exiting the project before he formally committed to the role back in August in 2015. Liman is the second director to leave the film behind, following in the footsteps of filmmaker Rupert Wyatt.

Recently, X-Men franchise producer Simon Kinberg gave an explanation for all the delays plaguing Gambit noting, “I think the truth is when you have these movies that need a very special and unique tone, it takes a little while to find that tone.”

“The character has such a specific voice in the comic … [like Deadpool] … that we want to make sure that we capture that voice on the page,” he continued.

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