From what we've been able to gather from the news that has broken out about the Gambit movie over the years, it seems that the idea for the project was initially hatched by producer Lauren Schuler Donner. She met with Channing Tatum, the two decided that they wanted to work together on a Gambit movie, and as a result a film was put into development. This is a pretty ordinary beginning, but in the time since then the movie has been dealt some serious blows, from major delays to devastating drop-outs. It's been so rough, in fact, that we wonder if it might just be time to give up on the whole thing completely.
With Gambit recently suffering yet another big setback this week, we got to thinking about the film's potential, and wonder if it's even worth all of the trouble that it's giving the studio. In fact, we say it's time to cut bait. Read on for our reasons why!
It clearly can't hold on to a director
The search for a director has been a major problem for the Gambit production for a shockingly long time now. First it took a surprisingly long time for the movie to even find a director, and then just a few months after hiring Rupert Wyatt, he quit the project over creative differences. And while Fox hired Doug Liman to direct the film shortly thereafter, the most recent news about the project is that Liman has left to go make DC's Dark Justice instead.
Given that we don't have somebody listening in on the various Gambit production meetings, we can't say why Rupert Wyatt and Doug Liman decided to leave the film... but it certainly doesn't paint a pretty picture, does it? Right now, the search is on for another director to make the movie, but given all of the drama that's happened behind the scenes, it's hard not to think that the people at the studio and behind the X-Men franchise would be better utilizing their time and energy starting development on a different mutant-driven comic book blockbuster.
There are more fitting characters for Channing Tatum to play
The selection of Channing Tatum as Gambit has been a controversial one for many years now -- as there was even a time when the actor almost played the role in X-Men: The Last Stand. As fans have pointed out, Tatum and Gambit don't exactly have the same body types - with the actor being much bigger and muscular than the nimble mutant has typically been illustrated - and there have been some big questions about the voice/Cajun accent. As a result of this, Tatum has been painted as a questionable choice for the part, but what only enhances that is the fact that he could be a much better fit in another superhero role.
In case you hadn't noticed, we are currently living in the golden age of comic book movies, and as a result actors have been staking their claims in various franchises -- set to become iconic big screen versions of legendary characters. Given his aforementioned body type as well as his charisma, Channing Tatum would work better in a wide variety of other superhero roles (which would basically become off-limits after accepting the Gambit gig). Personally, I think he would be an amazing Captain Marvel in the DC Extended Universe's upcoming Shazam film -- both because he would play "kid in an adults body" well, and because it would be fantastic to see him face off against Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam.
Gambit doesn't have the solo appeal of Wolverine and Deadpool
Thus far, Wolverine and Deadpool are the only characters that have gotten solo movies within the X-Men franchise -- but there is good reason behind that. Wolverine has long been one of Marvel Comics' most popular characters (established to be a standout in the original X-Men trilogy), and Deadpool has not only long had a cult following, but he has the humor and vulgarity to make him accessible to wide audiences (as proven by the film's success). While it's true that Gambit has his fair share of fans, he doesn't have the level of appeal to be leading his own movie.
For proof of this, one doesn't need to look any further than the live-action adaptation we've already seen: Taylor Kitsch's performance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It's true that film is overall patently awful, but the truth of the matter is that Kitsch's turn as Gambit is perfectly adequate. And yet watching it, it's still hard to imagine the character successfully carrying his own two-hour blockbuster. We're certainly not against the idea of Gambit being introduced within one of the future X-Men titles, but he really just doesn't need a solo movie.
There are many better X-Men-related characters that deserve their own movie
20th Century Fox doesn't own quite as many characters as Marvel Studios and DC Comics/Warner Bros., but the truth is that the X-Men franchise is filled with some of the most colorful and popular superheroes ever made. We've already seen the studio exploit this with movies centering around big names like Professor X, Magneto, and Wolverine, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. While Gambit doesn't have the solo appeal needed lead his own film, there are many other heroes who do, and should get their own blockbusters.
The number of characters associated with the X-Men who should/could get their own movies is far too long to list here -- but even giving some more direct attention to another already established character would be a better option than Gambit. For example, why not redeem the years in which she's been wasted on the big screen, and give Storm her own solo adventure? What about giving Ice Man his own story, freeing him from the love story arc he was trapped in through the original X-Men trilogy? While Fox struggles to try and force a Gambit feature to work, they could have a much easier time putting together a blockbuster centering on a better protagonist.
Agree? Disagree? Hit the comments section below with your thoughts, and be sure to stay tuned here on Cinema Blend for more updates about the Gambit movie.