As a solo film centered on fan-favorite X-Men character Gambit languishes in development limbo, a recent report indicates there was almost a much different actor portraying the cardsharp mutant. Colony star Josh Holloway revealed that he was originally cast as the Ragin' Cajun for 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, only to be replaced by Taylor Kitsch.
"I actually screen-tested with Hugh Jackman," the Lost alum told Digital Spy. "It was amazing – they said, 'You're it, you're the guy, you're Gambit!' and they shook my hand."
While Holloway was enthused about receiving the part, the studio ultimately decided to go with a younger actor for the role, replacing him with then-28-year-old Taylor Kitsch. Holloway was 40 at the time.
While Holloway admitted his attempt at a Cajun accent was "terrible," he prepared extensively for the part, going as far to learn card tricks in advance of his audition through online tutorials. "I could spin a card on one finger, I could one-hand cut, I learned to throw a card... it was cool," he shared.
After the lukewarm response to the Wolverine prequel, plans for a spinoff focused on the card-flinging X-Man were quietly shelved until Fox recast the part with Channing Tatum in 2014. Since then, the film has drifted in and out of development, losing three directors since Tatum's casting. The most recent director, Pirates of the Caribbean helmer Gore Verbinski, departed earlier this year. After Verbinski's departure, production has shifted to a June start date with the announcement of a new director expected to be made in the interim.
Gambit is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on June 7, 2019.