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The X-Men film franchise has introduced many characters over the past 14 years, but aside from Wolverine, none have gotten the chance to shine in their own movie... until now. After months of rumors and speculation, the Gambit spinoff is officially happening, with Channing Tatum playing the card-throwing mutant. 20th Century Fox has hired Robocop (the reboot) writer Josh Zetumer to pen the script, and Tatum will be producing the movie with his Free Association partner Reid Carolin, Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg.
Deadline broke the story, and revealed that the story will be based on a treatment by X-Men writer Chris Claremont, who created Gambit with artist Jim Lee. Gambit is the newest entry in the upcoming X-Men film slate, which includes Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse a third Wolverine film and X-Force. If you’re not familiar with the character, Gambit has been a prominent member of the X-Men since 1990. He is able to charge objects with kinetic energy, which causes said objects to explode upon impact. He uses playing cards and a staff as his weapons of choice when in battle, and he can also use his power to temporarily give himself enhanced physical abilities.
After being left out of the first three X-Men films, Gambit finally appeared in live-action in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, played by Taylor Kitsch. While Kitsch did a decent job (although he switched in and out of the accent), the film’s overall negative reception didn’t help matters. With the film franchise experiencing a revitalization with X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine and X-Men: Days of Future Past, it makes sense that they’re bring back the Ragin’ Cajun now.
Tatum has expressed enthusiasm at playing the role for a long time, and earlier this year it was confirmed by Donner, who has produced every X-Men film, that he would play the mutant. Previous comments suggested that Gambit could "re-debut" in X-Men: Apocalypse, but Tatum is a big enough movie star that Fox might decide that the solo film will be Gambit’s next appearance, similar to what they’re doing with Deadpool. However, it might be a good idea include Gambit as a supporting/minor character in Apocalypse. The 2016 blockbuster is taking place in the early 1980s, several years after the events of Origins, which is when we last saw Gambit. Get the audience familiar with the character again so they’re prepped for the solo film when it’s released however many years later. Then we’ll be ready for a smaller-scale, action-packed adventure with filled with playing cards, pink energy and New Orleans attitude.