Fox’s X-Men spinoff Gambit reportedly still intends to film in New Orleans, as originally planned last year, before production was set back by the loss of director Doug Liman and an overhaul of the script.
Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) boarded the long-delayed Channing Tatum project early this month, a development swiftly followed by the studio’s announcement of a Feb. 14, 2019, release date. Joshua Zetumer, who wrote 2014’s RoboCop, penned the script.
Widely considered dead earlier this year, Gambit was revived in no small part because of the critical and commercial success of Deadpool and Logan.
“We were trying to do something completely different,” Tatum said in August, explaining the latest production delays. “We were trying to do something that this genre of movie hasn’t seen before. We kept running into the same problems, and then Deadpool and Logan came through and kicked the doors down. Now we’re really getting to do some of the things we’ve always wanted to do with the script – we’ve just sort of started over.”
New Orleans is a logical location for Gambit, considering that its title character, Remy Etienne Lebeau, was born in the city.
Introduced in 1990 in Marvel Comics’ Uncanny X-Men, Gambit is an orphan who was stolen as an infant by the New Orleans Thieves Guild because of his black and red eyes. A mutant, he can charge inanimate objects (most frequently playing cards) with pure kinetic energy, transforming them into explosive projectiles.
Tatum, who has family ties to the New Orleans area, has been long attached to the film. Léa Seydoux is also signed on to play Bella Donna Boudreaux, who at one time in the comics was married to Remy. Few major story details are confirmed about Gambit, although it’s rumored to be a crime/heist film, with supervillain Candra as the primary antagonist.
Gambit first appeared in live-action in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, in which he was played by Taylor Kitsch. Unlike his co-star Ryan Reynolds, who weathered that film’s poor reception and eventually went on to reprise his role as (a very different) Deadpool, X-Men Origins spelled the end of Kitsch’s tenure as Remy Lebeau.
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