After a long search, Channing Tatum’s Gambit movie has finally found a director. Tatums has reportedly been shopping the X-Men spin-off around Hollywood – and has been met denials from directors like Darren Aronofsky and Foxcatcher‘s Bennet Miller – for some time now, but this week, he finally got someone to commit to the project: Rise of the Planet of the Apes helmer Rupert Wyatt.
Not much is yet known about the Gambit film, other than confirmation that it will be an origin story for the fan-favorite mutant. The Ragin’ Cajun is a New Orleans native who can turn everyday objects – his favorite being playing cards – into explosives by charging them with energy. He was last seen on screen in the derided 2009 misfire X-Men Origins: Wolverine, played by Taylor Kitsch. By recasting Tatum in the role, 20th Century Fox is making good on the promise it made with last year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, and wiping middling franchise entries like Origins from the continuity altogether.
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Wyatt is still a relative newcomer to Hollywood; he directed last year’s remake of The Gambler, but this will be his first foray into big blockbuster filmmaking since delivering the pleasant surprise that was Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2008. His eye for action and ability to infuse a blockbuster with memorable characters should make him a welcome addition to the X-Men franchise.
Gambit is slated for release on October 7th, 2016, so Wyatt better start firing up those playing cards fast. At this time, Tatum is the only one attached to star; he’ll also produce, along with Reid Carolin, Lauren Schuler Donner, and Simon Kinberg.