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Although the X-Men spinoff Gambit is set to be released in late 2016, it’s had a tough time securing a director. Talent like Bennett Miller and Darren Aronofsky have turned down the opportunity to tackle the solo adventure of Remy LeBeau, a.k.a. one of the most popular X-Men among fans. Well, after months of pursuit, the search is finally over, as 20th Century Fox has selected Rupert Wyatt will direct the feature.
EW reports that the Rise of the Planet of the Apes director has been tapped to helm the Ragin’ Cajun’s solo film. Magic Mike star Channing Tatum will play the card-throwing mutant, succeeding Taylor Kitsch, who played the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Gambit is the third X-Men film hitting theaters next year following February’s Deadpool and May’s X-Men: Apocalypse. In addition to directing the first installment of the Planet of the Apes reboot series, Wyatt’s resume includes 2008’s The Escapist and 2014’s The Gambler, as well as directing the pilot episode of the AMC series Turn: Washington’s Spies.
Aside from the director, main star and Joshua Zetumer writing the screenplay, little is known about what to expect from Gambit other than it being an origin story. Before joining the X-Men in the comics, Remy was a thief in the streets of New Orleans, and it was at a young age that he discovered his ability to turn the stored energy in an object into kinetic energy, thus making it highly explosive. He frequently harnesses this power as a weapon through playing cards and a staff. After leading a guild of thieves and getting mistakingly involved with Mister Sinister, Gambit wandered the world until he was recruited by Professor Xavier’s team of benevolent mutants. It was during this time that he entered into a romantic relationship with fellow teammate Rogue, though whether we’ll see this in the X-Men films remains to be seen, especially since she’s involved with Iceman in this universe.
Plot-wise, Tatum has said that Gambit will play around the typical superhero movie tropes, specifically by moving away from the "save the world"-angle, so at minimum moviegoers can expect to see a more personal story being told. There have also been rumors of Gambit making a cameo in X-Men: Apocalypse to reintroduce him to audiences, but this hasn’t been confirmed. Whatever the case, now that a director has been brought aboard, we can expect progress on the film to move faster in order for them to begin production later this year so they can make their pre-planned release date.
Gambit will be released on October 7, 2016.