We’ve known for over a year now that Magic Mike star Channing Tatum will play Gambit in an upcoming movie featuring the card-slinging X-Men character, and now that project has a director, too.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes filmmaker Rupert Wyatt will be behind the camera when Gambit’s still-untitled solo movie begins shooting, according to Entertainment Weekly. Thus far, Tatum is the only confirmed cast member for the project, which is scheduled to hit theaters in 2016.
Wyatt is best known for successfully rebooting the Planet of the Apes franchise with 2011’s prequel project Rise of the Planet of Apes, which earned rave reviews from critics and general audiences alike and featured some of the year’s best visual effects, but his most recent film — 2014’s The Gambler — could also inform his work on the Gambit solo movie quite a bit, too. A mutant with the ability to charge everyday objects with an explosive energy, Gambit has a fondness for playing cards and other signature elements of games of chance.
While Tatum was confirmed for the role back in May 2014, it was Taylor Kitsch who first brought Gambit (a.k.a. Remy LeBeau) to the screen in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. There are few confirmed details about the new film’s plot at this point, but Tatum has described it as an unconventional origin story for the character, who was first introduced in a 1990 issue of Marvel Comics’ Uncanny X-Men comic book series. Created by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee, Remy LeBeau is a Louisiana native who was raised by a powerful group of thieves and eventually joined the X-Men as part of his quest for redemption.
Gambit is widely regarded as one of the most popular comic-book characters introduced during the ’90s, and has been a recurring character in the various iterations of the X-Men comics over the years, as well as leading several of his own solo series.
The script for the movie is currently being penned by RoboCop (2014) writer Josh Zetumer, with Tatum, Reid Carolin, and X-Men franchise producers Simon Kinberg and Lauren Shuler Donner all serving as producers on the film.
The Gambit solo movie is currently targeting a premiere on October 7, 2016.