Gambit is a beloved character in the X-Men universe, and as we’ve seen that universe inflated and stretched to match the dimensions of those inhabited by the Avengers and the Justice League, we have to wonder when we’ll ever get to see the Ragin’ Cajun in his long-awaited solo movie. With the success of other solo movies like Deadpool and Logan, both gutsy and mature in tone, it would be great to see this fan favorite character get the same treatment given his raucous background. 20th Century Fox has unveiled the release dates for several titles in the X-Men franchise over the next two years, and Gambit was not among them.
It’s struggled with the loss of first Rupert Wyatt as director, and then Doug Liman, and writers kept walking through studio revolving doors as the project wallowed in limbo for far too long. With the only consistent person attached to the film being its star, Channing Tatum (a long-time fan of Gambit), it needs more committed people dedicated to its successful completion. CBR has compiled a list of 8 facts that have emerged consistent over the past several years, as well as 7 rumors that have been circulating about the film for the past several months.
15. FACT: CHANNING TATUM IS DEFINITELY STILL TIED TO IT
The only person consistently tied to the Gambit film at all for the past several years has been Channing Tatum. That can be viewed as good news, since a consistent star behind the film from its early inception stages can have a solid grasp on character development and even inform the plot. Some fans have hoped that, unlike gaining and losing writers and directors, a different star would become attached to the film, as Tatum got tired of filming delays.
And while we can speculate what a different actor in the role would bring to the film, Tatum is like a firm presence reminding us that the film will happen. Ryan Reynolds had to keep talking up Deadpool (and possibly leak early footage of it) to get producers to get off their rears and get a release date.
14. RUMOR: AFFECTED BY OTHER X-MEN RELEASES
Back in April of this year, 20th Century rolled back the velvet curtain on a series of release dates for upcoming movies in the X-Men franchise. These included New Mutants, Deadpool 2, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix. As exciting as that was, the absence of the release date for the Gambit movie (a movie that should have started filming two years ago and have been released by the time the announcement was made anyway) was very telling of the studios confidence.
All of the aforementioned titles are scheduled to be released in 2018, which is much too ambitious for a Gambit movie to be ready by. Given that it may not even start filming until then (once it finds a director), its release date may find it competing with even more big titles projected for 2019 and 2020.
13. FACT: LEA SEYDOUX IS BELLA DONNA BOUDREAUX
Childhood friends even though one was a member of the Thieves Guild and one the member of its rival, the Assassins Guild, Gambit and Bella Donna Boudreaux nevertheless maintained a bond that eventually resulted in their arranged marriage. A young Remy LeBeau is used as an olive branch for peace between the two Guilds, and so he is promised to the granddaughter of the head assassin.
As you can imagine, the nuptials are not happily received by all parties, and a series of unfortunate events occurs from them. French actress Lea Seydoux is expected to portray the female assassin, beating out Rebecca Ferguson, originally of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, and Amy Lee, of Mad Max: Fury Road. No doubt her background will help her in nailing that Cajun accent.
12. RUMOR: A GRITTIER STORY
The Deadpool movie opened the door for comic book films to have a sense of humor congruous with the demographic that grew up on the material. Deadpool first appeared in the New Mutants #98 back in 1991, solidly planting his core fans as somewhere in their 30s to 50s. This demographic likes violence, likes sex, and likes swearing. The Logan movie capitalized on Wolverine’s weathered, gritty charisma, which makes sense since Wolverine came to be in the 70s, when movies like Dirty Harry and Death Wish were all the rage.
Gambit is a fast-talking, drinking, gambling, cussing son-of-a-gun, and as Channing Tatum has said “always felt the most real of the X-Men…he’s not a good guy. But he’s not a bad guy either. He walks his own path.” Hopefully his movie has the tone his character deserves.
11. FACT: NO DIRECTOR SINCE DOUG LIMAN LEFT
Rupert Wyatt was originally attached to the Gambit project several years ago, and with his exit Doug Liman came to the helm. In August, however, Liman left the project as well, citing creative differences. Originally he stated he wasn’t “feeling the script”, but went on to elaborate that, as a director that comes onto a film later in the developmental process, it’s difficult to find a connection with the material.
He wanted to make the movie with not only his personal creative stamp on it, but also a personal relationship with the characters. He wanted to be able to relate to them, and have audiences relate to them, and that wasn’t happening in the then-current incarnation of the Gambit project.
10. RUMOR: WILL FEATURE OTHER X-MEN
The Gambit movie has seen a lot of writers float around it, like fireflies on a Southern summer’s eve. Each has had their own take on not just the tone of the film itself, but also the plot. Ultimately, since 2016, the working plot is that of an origin story, and how Remy Lebeau came to become Gambit.
If that is indeed the way the plot stays by the time the project finds a director and they go into development, chances are we won’t see a lot of familiar mutant faces, since Gambit’s formative years were spent being raised as part of the Thieves Guild. We may get a glimpse of other X-Men if the film timeline takes us all the way to when he joins them, but don’t expect them to play a pivotal or even vital role in the first solo film.
9. FACT: A MAGIC MIKE WRITER IS DOING REWRITES
The original Gambit screenplay was penned by Joshua Zetumer, who wrote the 2014 Robocop film, but since the project keeps getting pushed back, rewrites have fallen to Reid Carolin. Reid was one of the writers of the Magic Mike movies, so while perhaps an odd choice for a movie about a superhero that controls kinetic energy, he is familiar with writing a character to Channing Tatum’s specifications.
This could be a good thing, since many fans are hesitant to embrace Tatum as the Ragin’ Cajun (citing that he either doesn’t have the right look or the acting chops to pull off the role), so having a writer familiar with the lead actor could make a screenplay tailor made for his strengths.
8. RUMOR: SINISTER COULD BE THE MAIN VILLAIN
As much is known about the main villain in the Gambit movie as the plot at this point, except that if it remains an origin story, then it stands to reason that a villain that will at least appear in passing is Mr. Sinister, aka Nathaniel Essex. When Gambit was young, he hired him to steal diaries from the same program that experimented on Wolverine, which is one of the reasons the X-Men don’t trust Gambit later when he joins their team.
Not to include a pivotal moment in the development of Gambit’s character would rob the dramatic tension involved with his interactions with the X-Men later on down the line. Of course, Gambit had plenty of encounters with shadowy figures from the Assassins Guild that could produce a formidable opponent.
7. FACT: IT’LL BE AN ORIGIN STORY
With so many big superhero movies concerned with saving the world, it will be nice to have an origin story that hasn’t gotten to the huge moments yet. A slower paced, more character driven story that lets its actors dig into the nuance of their roles will give great background infrastructure for when they inevitably do protect humanity from the next apocalypse.
Besides, getting to see the inner workings of the infamous Thieves Guild and Assassins Guild, and Gambit growing up an orphan who goes from card cheating thief to begrudging anti-hero without being overshadowed by several other superheroes will be a refreshing respite. There’s already several big superhero titles slated to roll out over the next several years that will have enough cataclysmic events to satiate even the biggest fan of CG carnage.
6. RUMOR: IT’LL BE AN R-RATED AFFAIR
While Channing Tatum has long praised the character of Gambit for being a “tortured soul” and a charming anti-hero, he’s been less forthcoming with whether or not the film will get an R-rating even based on the success of Deadpool and Logan. Both he and producer Simon Kinberg feel like it should get a strong rating, since that would allow the plot and characters to explore the more mature themes inherent to Gambit’s world.
However, Tatum is adamant that since he enjoyed Gambit as a kid, he doesn’t want to remove the possibility that kids can see it in theaters as well and get the same sort of thrill out of it that he did. Regardless, Gambit, like Deadpool and Wolverine, is a character that is loved precisely because he pulls no punches, so finding the right rating for the tone of the film is key.
5. FACT: NO CONSISTENT CREATIVE TEAM CURRENTLY ATTACHED
Having already lost two directors and gone through several writers, there is currently no consistent creative team attached to the project. Producer Hutch Parker explained that, while there was a lot of “passionate interest” to see the film made, he didn’t have any further news on how it would be developed without a creative team at this point.
Switching members of a creative team so often can not only damage the cohesive, familial feel that happens when a film is conceived over several months with the same group of people, it can mean that too many new people coming on board with too many new ideas will ultimately clash. That, or news of the project having a revolving door of development heads won’t entice any new collaborators.
4. RUMOR: WON’T FILM UNTIL 2018, WHICH WOULD MEAN…
As the world of the X-Men gets pushed to encompass other heroes, partially to compete against the Avengers, and partially because fans are tired of only seeing certain X-Men favorites, it needs characters like Gambit to flesh it out. Producer Simon Kinberg seems to think that to get the tone of the film right, and for the character to have the same attention to detail paid to him as in solo titles like Deadpool and Logan, the film will have to wait until next year to get going.
That’s probably because it literally can’t start filming, considering that its two previous directors have left it to work on other projects, and the only figure ever-present in all discussion surrounding its filming schedule is Channing Tatum. Hopefully Fox can find others just as committed to getting the project off the ground.
3. FACT: …THERE IS NO RELEASE DATE…
Originally slated to be released in 2016, it lost its director that same year, and had only recently finished the first draft of its script. It then lost another director, writers had to leave due to the scheduling conflicts, and 20th Century Fox was forced to stop mentioning release dates altogether out of embarrassment. As previously mentioned, they even went so far as to pull it from their fancy release date schedule, which is stuffed with other X-Men movies anyway.
At this point, with Simon Kinberg slating filming to begin in 2018, we can expect it no sooner than 2019, with a realistic estimate being 2020. Hopefully by then fans will still be fans of superhero movies as a genre, and we finally get the Gambit movie we deserve that has been worth the wait.
2. RUMOR: …OR IT MIGHT NOT EVEN BE MADE
The Gambit movie has been in the developmental stages for several years now, and 20th Century Fox removing it from its release schedule spells a lack of confidence in its production and kills whatever meager momentum it had going. Gambit has a dedicated, loyal fan base. Like Boba Fett, the casual fan of the franchise may not know who he is, but the diehards do, and he is a character that deserves to be brought into the spotlight, especially since his character is so conflicted, complex, and mysterious.
If Fox waits too long to work on releasing it, it will have to compete with not just other X-Men related movies but also Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and many other titles that it may not be able to stand up against.
1. FACT: IT COULD TAKE UP TO A DECADE UNTIL ITS RELEASE
Simon Kinberg has talked a lot about his love of Deadpool and what the film did for the comic book movie genre, especially with regards to tone. While he praises both it and Logan for being dynamic pieces of cinema that allow their central characters to have “their own voice”, he wearily imparts that Deadpool took 10 years to make.
Now, we know that it didn’t take a decade to find Deadpool’s “voice”, but we do know that studio executives and producers all have their opinions about what a movie should look like, who it should appeal to, and ultimately how it will be the most successful. In order for Gambit to be the franchise Fox wants, it will have to go through this laborious process of development before it ever sees the light of day, hopefully in a manner that makes fans as happy as the suits.
What are you hoping happens with the Gambit movie? Let us know in the comments section!
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