Rupert Wyatt to direct Fox's GAMBIT solo movie

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Back in 2011, nobody expected what looked like a quick cash-in prequel to the classic Planet of the Apes franchise to be any good, especially one directed by somebody we’ve never heard of. But then director Rupert Wyatt dropped the absolutely incredible Rise of the Planet of the Apes on us, becoming a gigantic success out of nowhere. As far as career moves go, you could say that it was a very successful… uhm… gambit.

Okay. I’m sorry. That was bad, but as I’m writing this I’m still half asleep from staying up all night to watch the E3 shenanigans, and was desperately looking for a way to segue into the news that Wyatt has now been tapped to helm Fox’s planned Gambit solo superhero movie.

EW reports that Wyatt is on board the X-Men spinoff, which will see Channing Tatum as the titular card-tossing Cajun mutant superhero. Coincidentally, Wyatt is actually coming off another movie that featured a lot of playing cards in the Mark Wahlberg led The Gambler. Unfortunately that movie was a box office bomb and drew only lukewarm reviews, so maybe Wyatt is more better suited for big CGI explodey things.

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He’ll get plenty of that with Gambit, aka Remy LeBeau, who possesses the mutant ability to charge any items he touches – playing cards being his favourite – with kinetic energy, causing them to explode a few seconds later. The character was briefly seen on-screen previously in the much-derided X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where he was played by Taylor Kitsch. Since Kitsch is a bit of box office poison, and Tatum is a much bigger star – and more importantly, also a gigantic fan of the character who has been pushing for this for years – it makes perfect business sense for Fox to replace Kitsch with Tatum.

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Whether Tatum is perfect for the character and his heavy Cajun drawl is another thing, but we won’t have to wait too long to find that out as Tatum will be debuting as Gambit in Bryan Singer’s upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse next year May. Since that movie is set in the 1980’s, it’s uncertain as to which time period the Gambit movie will be set in, but recent comments from Tatum imply that it could be some sort of “different” origin story prequel.

Gambit is being co-produced by Tatum with X-Men franchise stalwarts Laura Schuler Donner and Simon Kinberg. It’s scheduled for release on October 17, 2017.

Last Updated: June 17, 2015

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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