X-Men: Days of Future Past marked the beginning of a brave new world for Fox’s mutant franchise. More than just a new timeline, that film is being used to springboard into the massive scope of X-Men: Apocalypse as well as upcoming solo movies for characters who aren’t Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, in the forms of Deadpool and Gambit.
That latter spinoff – which will star Channing Tatum in the title role – has reportedly been facing trouble nailing down a filmmaker to take the director’s chair. A number of high-profile directors, including Darren Aronofsky (Noah) and Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher), have turned down the project, and the studio will likely need to move fast to complete the film in time for its fall 2016 release date. Thankfully for fans, it looks like that issue has now been resolved.
EW is reporting that Rupert Wyatt will be directing the Gambit film for Fox. Wyatt most recently helmed the Mark Wahlberg crime drama The Gambler last year but is perhaps best known for breathing new life into an aging franchise with the 2011 prequel/reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes. There’s no word yet on what exactly the story is for the Gambit screenplay penned by Josh Zetumer (RoboCop (2014)), nor how the movie will connect with other X-Men films.
Wyatt is a filmmaker who reads as being a smart choice to handle a relative standalone story for the Cajun Marvel character. After all, Wyatt does have experience working on effects-heavy blockbuster genre fare, and his ability to reintroduce audiences to a familiar character/concept (which is what happened with Apes) could prove to be essential here.
The character of Gambit was largely given a disservice with his brief inclusion in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the 2009 film viewed by many as one of (if not, the) worst film in the X-Men series to date. Taylor Kitsch played the role in that movie and went on to headline the infamous flop that was John Carter. Tatum, as it were, is reeling from similar disappointment with Jupiter Ascending, so a rebound with Gambit would be welcome news for the actor (as his first starring role since that Wachowski space adventure). Having a solid director like Wyatt onboard should only improve the Tatum-headlined X-Men adventure’s chances of success.
Fantastic Four opens on August 7, 2015; Deadpool on February 12, 2016; X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit on October 7, 2016; Wolverine 3 (not the official title) on March 3, 2017; Fantastic Four 2 on June 9, 2017; and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13, 2018.