It looks like Channing Tatum's long-gestating Gambit movie may be taking a very huge, if unexpected, step in the right direction. Reportedly, Fox is now looking to Gore Verbinski, the man behind the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, to direct the X-Men spin-off. No deal is done yet, but The Hollywood Reporter claims that he is "in talks" to helm the project, which has been in development for a couple of years now, and will reportedly start production in 2018.

Channing Tatum more or less willed the Gambit movie into existence, given his desire to play the card-throwing, Cajun mutant on the big screen. However, the project has hit a few snags over the years. Originally, Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) was supposed to direct the movie, but he walked away in 2015. Then, Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) spent some time developing the movie, with a plan to direct, but his schedule got in the way and he dropped out last year. The X-Men flick seemed to be dead in the water, but now, with Gore Verbinski possibly taking over, it sounds like we may actually see this thing happen.

Over the past few months, Channing Tatum has started talking about Gambit again and has said that the success of Deadpool and Logan forced them to rethink their approach to Gambit. It will allow them some more creative freedom, but that also meant doing some rewrites and getting it ready to shoot. One might think that might mean making it on a slightly smaller scale to keep the budget low and to help mitigate risk. This news makes it seem like that may not be the case.

Related: Gambit to Shoot in Early 2019 Before Disney Takes Over Fox?

Gore Verbinski is a man with very expensive tastes. Even his recent, mid-budget affair, A Cure for Wellness, was pretty pricey for what it was and didn't exactly do big business at the box office. Then again, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies rank among the highest-grossing movies ever made, so it's easy to see the appeal, from Fox's standpoint.

Currently, no official plot details for Gambit have been revealed, but a recent, rumored plot leak claims that the movie will feature an Ocean's 11 style heist, with fan-favorite villain Mr. Sinister pulling the strings. There is also a rumor that Daniel Craig may play Mr. Sinister, but that has since been debunked by several sources. Even if those plot details were true at one point, a lot could change by the time cameras actually start rolling.

Gambit doesn't currently have a release date, but if this new THR report is any indication, Fox seems to be moving ahead with the movie more actively. The studio does have several released dates for unnamed Marvel Comics movies pegged over the next few years, so it's possible Gambit already does have a release date. We just may not know it yet. We'll be sure to keep you posted as more details on the project are made available.

Ryan Scott