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Created by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee, the mutant character Gambit was first introduced to Marvel Comics in 1990, and while considered by many to be a controversial character, he certainly has developed his own dedicated fan-base (particularly in thanks to the animated show that began in 1992. With the X-Men franchise expanding, 20th Century Fox has spent years trying to capitalize on this popularity, but may now actually get to by giving the mutant hero his very own solo movie.
But what’s the Gambit film going to be about? Who is it going to star? Who has been put in charge of making it? We answer all of those questions and more in this latest installment of our What We Know So Far guides. Read on and learn!
The DirectorThough he wasn’t necessarily 20th Century Fox’s first choice for the gig (we’ll get more into that later), the reins of the X-Men spin-off movie Gambit now rest in the hands of director Doug Liman. The announcement that he had landed the gig arrived through trade reports in November 2015 – following stories suggesting that he was the frontrunner for the job.
After making his feature debut with the 1994 romantic comedy/thrill Getting In, Doug Liman really started gaining notoriety thanks to his 1996 indie hit Swingers (based on a script by Jon Favreau). He followed that up with the Pulp Fiction-esque dark comedy Go in 1999, but since then has spent most of his career directing action movies.
In 2002 he teamed up with Matt Damon to launch the Jason Bourne franchise with The Bourne Identity, and three years later followed it up with the hit Mr. And Mrs. Smith. Unfortunately this was followed by the misfire Jumper and the largely ignored drama Fair Game. The good news, though, is that he was back at the best of his abilities with his last blockbuster – the Tom Cruise-starring, critically-acclaimed sci-fi action movie Edge of Tomorrow.
Recently, Doug Liman has completed work on the ensemble-driven suspense comedy Mena (which will be out in 2017), and has also been developing the moon-centric thriller Luna Park… but Gambit will probably take priority over that project.
The StoryGambit is being written by screenwriter Joshua Zetumer - the scribe behind the 2014 RoboCop remake – and while nothing has officially been confirmed about the plot of the film, it’s expected to follow certain beats from the titular character’s origin story in Marvel comics.
Set to be a part of the growing X-Men Cinematic Universe, the film is expected to follow the young Remy LeBeau as he lives in New Orleans, Louisiana as a key member of the venerable Thieves' Guild. In order to try and create piece between this group and the rivals of the Assassins' Guild, it's organized that Remy will marry Bella Donna Boudreaux, the granddaughter of the head assassin and a childhood friend of Remy's. Unfortunately, due to certain sour family members, this event winds up going horribly wrong.
At this time it is unknown who will be the central antagonist of the film, but we’ll get into that soon.
GambitTaking on the role of Remy LeBeau a.k.a. Gambit in the Doug Liman-directed superhero movie will be none other than A-lister Channing Tatum… and that casting is really all thanks to long time X-Men franchise producer Lauren Schuler Donner. Back in January of 2014, the filmmaker went on the record saying,
I'm dying to do a Gambit movie with Channing Tatum. That doesn't have to be a great big movie. It's a thief in New Orleans, it's a whole different story. He's on board, and I have to get the studio on board. How can anyone resist Channing? He's such a sweetheart.
Interestingly enough, Channing Tatum's connections to both the franchise and the character have been around for quite a long time. Back in 2006 when director Brett Ratner was working on making X-Men: The Last Stand, Tatum was one of the actors who was in the running to take on the first live-action version of Gambit. The character was ultimately cut from the script and wasn't featured in the film, but apparently the "Tatum as Gambit" idea stuck around.
In late July 2015, there were reports that circulated saying that certain issues had come up between Channing Tatum and 20th Century Fox regarding his contract. As a result, it was speculated that there was a possibility that he could wind up leaving the project behind and leaving the studio in the position of recasting the lead. This trouble was averted a few days later, however, when it was revealed that the actor had closed a deal.
Channing Tatum’s version of Remy LeBeau in Gambit is expected to have his traditional thick Cajun accent – which the actor claims he can do thanks to his father being from New Orleans - and there's no reason to believe that they will be changing the hero's traditional power set that comes courtesy of his mutation. His primary ability is that he can connect to and channel kinetic energy, and can subsequently use this to charge individual objects. He is particularly known for "charging" playing cards and throwing them around as explosives. Additionally, he is a skilled and acrobatic fighter who uses a bo staff as his primary weapon.
Bella Donna BoudreauxBella Donna Boudreaux and Remy LeBeau first met when they were just eight years old, and for the longest time had no clue that they were star-crossed - being from the Assassins' Guild and the Thieves' Guild, respectively. As mentioned earlier, that friendship is eventually transformed when the two are arranged to be married – though it’s a romance that ultimately has many tragic events occur.
Seen pictured above, actress Lea Seydoux will be playing the Gambit heroine, having first been rumored for the role back in July of 2015. According to reports, her closest competition for the role came from Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation's Rebecca Ferguson, and Mad Max: Fury Road's Abbey Lee, but obviously she was able to beat both of them out and get the role. Given the French actress’ country of origin, it’s expected that she will do just fine with a Cajun accent in Gambit, and her action experience in both Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Spectre should serve her well also.
Like Gambit, Bella Donna Boudreaux is also a mutant, though she has a very different power set. She has the ability to not only produce "plasma blasts," but also has the psychic power of astral projection.
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