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Last year, talks began and eventually confirmed that Channing Tatum would be playing the new face of Gambit, a fan favorite of the X-Men community. While it was everyone's initial understanding that we'd be waiting a while for this flick to come to pass, FOX ended up having the best year in the entire movie industry. With some power and cash to spend, it looks like the cards being dealt are in the favor of everyone's favorite Cajun mutant.
The Wrap brought some good news today, as they've confirmed a boatload of FOX release date switches, as well as dropped some new ones. Among the new ones was Gambit, which is penciled in for an October 7, 2016 release date. This is amazing news as we previously were lead to believe that Gambit would take some time to get into the swing of things, at the very least past 2016. But with a newly emboldened outlook on life, FOX seems to be making itself into a viable comic book player in the post-Marvel Studios landscape.
With Hugh Jackman at a crossroads between continuing his role in the X-Men franchise or leaving for greener pastures, FOX obviously wants to secure its holdings with its Marvel properties. X-Men in particular is a cash cow for the studio, and if there's no Wolverine movies to look forward to, it'd be best to have another stand alone franchise that boasts the star power audiences expect. Tatum is an obvious choice, as he's hotter than ever with roles in films like 22 Jump Street and Foxcatcher, and he's obviously a fan of the character.
Of course, this big announcement could mean some even bigger news is on the horizon. News that could come in the form of an announcement that X-Men: Apocalypse will indeed feature Gambit among its company, or at the very least in a fun post credits segment that paves the way to the stand alone film that is set to open just short of five months after the summer blockbuster of 2016 opens. FOX might only have two Marvel properties on deck, between X-Men and The Fantastic Four, but it looks like they're ready to make some monetary hay with both franchises as they've now got two films on deck for each.
Obviously Gambit has had a lot of fast track movement in the past couple of months, otherwise it wouldn't be landing a release date so soon. It's aggressive, it's bold, and it's the type of move FOX should be making with its new found clout. The studio could especially use a solid money maker considering how long and expensive the process of making the Avatar films will be in the coming years. Between their Marvel films and the Planet Of The Apes saga, it looks like the studio is starting to climb back into that rarefied air that they used to inhabit so many years ago.
Gambit looks to deal a royal flush on October 7, 2016.