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On Gambit, Fox never believed that it was heading into a situation with Wyatt that would have recalled its difficulties with Trank, who was said to be withdrawn and isolated while making Fantastic Four. Wyatt is “a talented guy,” says a studio source. “He shows up. He comes early. He stays late. He’s got good ideas.” But Wyatt wants to rewrite, to conceive the world that he is filming. And when a director paints on a big, $100 million-plus canvas, studios want to help pick out the colors. Often on big films there also are heavyweight producers and influential stars involved who have ideas of their own. In the case of Gambit, Channing Tatum was set to play the lead, and producers include Simon Kinberg of X-Men and Star Wars.

What seems to have happened on Gambit and other films is that when Wyatt has been unable to convince the studios to sign on to his vision, his anxiety mounts and he leaves. During the past few years, he has dropped out of projects at every major studio except Disney (where he has had none). One top exec who has worked with Wyatt says the director “is not a tortured guy” but rather is “a very gentle soul, very considerate.” He continues: “I think he’s a very principled guy. He wants to make the best version of something, and he’s so desperately afraid of making something not good that it’s easier to walk away than be pushed by committee.”

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