The Cajun trickster of the X-Men is getting his own solo film in Gambit, a spin-off of 20th Century Fox’s X-Men series. After a rocky pre-production stage that saw its first director Rupert Wyatt depart the project, the film is in motion to begin filming this March in New Orleans.
But just what is Gambit going to be about anyway?
So who is Gambit?
Remy LeBeau, a.k.a. Gambit, is a mutant superhero and one of the X-Men created by Chris Claremont and drawn by Jim Lee for Marvel in 1990. Born and raised in New Orleans, LeBeau wields the ability to manipulate pure kinetic energy, and so of course he uses it to … play cards.
Actually, he was a member of the New Orleans Thieves’ Guild before becoming a member of the X-Men. He’s also a bit of a playboy, because ladies can’t resist that Cajun accent. He’s also an expert wielder of the bo staff and is skilled in hand-to-hand combat.
Throughout his time in the X-Men, Gambit has been romantically involved with Rogue.
Wasn’t Gambit already in these movies?
Yeah, Taylor Kitsch played him in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine — but a lot of people want to forget that movie. Even Fox. Deadpool is ignoring that movie, so it’s safe to say that Gambit will too.
So who’s playing him this time?
Beyonce enthusiast Channing Tatum.
I can’t picture him with Gambit’s hair.
Well now you can. It’s been rumored that Tatum sported a freakish do at the Golden Globes because he’s growing it out naturally for the role.
The mainstream outlets made fun of it, but the nerds knew better.
Who else is in it?
So far, only Léa Seydoux, who you saw in Spectre. She’ll be playing Belladonna Bordeaux, a street-thief mutant and childhood friend of Gambit who possesses the ability to fire plasma blasts and project her astral form onto physical and astral planes where she can manipulate the environment.
Why are they filming in New Orleans?
Besides the fact that New Orleans is booming in film production, New Orleans is very important to the Gambit character. The city informs everything about him, from the way he walks to his laid back, party attitude. To film anywhere else is like filming a Spider-Man out of New York. Oh, wait.
Point is, it’s really cool they’re shooting in Nawlins. It matters.
After Wyatt left he was replaced by Doug Liman, which is exciting. He’s done some comedies like Swingers with Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau and a ton of action like The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow which was awesome.
While Gambit doesn’t have any need to time travel or play with storytelling structure, it is cool that a capable filmmaker is taking on a Marvel superhero. And not an A-list superhero, so he must have some room to get weird.
Okay, so what about the movie? What’s it about?
Gambit will be an origin story (Yawn. Boo.) but Tatum says they’re doing it in a “very different way,” whatever that means. Gambit will also be a part of the X-Men universe but the film will take place before the first X-Men.
In an interview with Collider, producer Simon Kinberg described the project as both a heist film and a “sexy thriller.” Ooh la la?
“The X-Men movies are dramatic and almost operatic, whereas Deadpool is irreverent and hysterical and sort of a dirty R-rated comedy in many ways. And Gambit will have its own different flavor and tone to it, will be more of like a heist movie and a sexy thriller in a way.”
When is it coming out?
- It was supposed to release this year but you know, stuff happens. Fox’s Wolverine 3 will be released in March so it’s safe to assume Gambit won’t be out until summer or fall.