Now, amidst all the excitement surrounding X-Men: Apocalypse, Deadpool, and Hugh Jackman's final X-Appearance in Wolverine 3, it'd be easy to forget that there's a whole other X-Project on the horizon - one that could, with a bit of luck, be one of the most intriguing superhero movies yet filmed.
That movie? Gambit.
With ever-more A-List Channing Tatum taking on the title role, and the bad-ass, anti-heroic X-Man arriving with his very own (and very dedicated) built-in comic-book fan-base, there's every chance the movie could be something pretty special. With the screenplay (by Josh Zetumer) already more-or-less in the bag - and intriguingly based on a treatment by his comic-book co-creator (and X-Men legend) Chris Claremont - though, there's only one major piece of the puzzle left: the director.
And, as it turns out:
Gambit Just Acquired Itself the Perfect Director
Step forward, Rupert Wyatt, and take a bow.
The 42-year-old Englishman (who attended the prestigious British private school Winchester College not too many years after Joss Whedon, oddly enough) has signed on to take the directorial reins on Gambit's first solo outing, currently set for release October 7, 2016.
The most interesting thing about Wyatt taking on the role, though?
His three movies to date seem to have set him up to be perfectly suited for the job. First up:
The Escapist Proves He Can Do Tension (and a Streamlined Plot)
It helps that The Escapist has a ridiculously talented cast, but there's no denying that the heart-rending tension and whip-fast pace has a whole lot to do with its director, a feat all the more impressive considering it was his feature debut.
Also, not coincidentally, it's an absolutely fantastic movie, and one of the finest prison dramas of the past few decades. Which always helps.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Proves He Can Do Epic (and Action)
Now, admittedly, the action we saw in Rise of the Planet of the Apes is likely to be a whole lot more chimp-themed than what Gambit will ultimately bring us, but Wyatt's ability to wrangle large action set-pieces into something resembling a coherent whole is a valuable asset in modern superhero film-making.
Also, seeing as there's likely to be a fair amount of CGI involved, it doesn't hurt that he's already directed Andy Serkis to arguably the most critically acclaimed motion-capture performance (as Caesar) since...well, Andy Serkis' Gollum.
The Gambler Proves He Can Do the Gritty Underside of the X-Men Universe
Now, sure, The Gambler wasn't the most spectacularly well-received of movies, but it sure does bode well for Wyatt's ability to understand the dark, gritty, gambling-related side to a superhero known for throwing explosive playing cards.
Also, it can't hurt that he's clearly capable of bringing out the best in big name actors - as demonstrated by Jessica Lange's glowing critical reception for the film.
Or, in other words?
Wyatt's Hiring Is Yet Another Reason to Get Excited About Gambit
Y'know, as though we really needed one...
What do you think, though?