Over the course of the last few years, few superhero projects have been more challenging to follow than Gambit. Between the losses of multiple directors and several delays, Channing Tatum has represented one of the only consistent and stable elements of the film's development, although that hasn't stopped us from searching high and low for new details. Though definitive answers have been hard to come by, now it looks like the film's development may be taking a huge step forward with the rumored inclusion of Candra as Gambit's main villain.
For those of you who don't know Candra (a.k.a The Benefactress a.k.a. Red Death), she is a powerful (and immortal) telekinetic mutant. She is a frequent enemy of Remy LeBeau, as well as a leader of the New Orleans Thieves and Assassins Guilds. This report of her potential inclusion in the film follows other recent rumors suggesting that A Cure for Wellness director Gore Verbinski could step behind the camera for Gambit and that the film is taking a cue from other recent X-Universe films to scale down its story and do something in the spirit of Deadpool and Logan.
Although Candra's presence in Gambit has yet to receive definitive confirmation, her ties to New Orleans and the Thieves Guild line up with other rumors that we have heard about the film in recent weeks. Specifically, a recent rumor suggested that the plot of the movie will see Mr. Sinister (possibly played by Daniel Craig) hire Gambit to recover a mysterious chest taken from him by the Thieves Guild in New Orleans in the midst of Mardis Gras. Given Candra's own affiliation to that city and organization, it would make plenty of sense for her to find herself in direct conflict with our card-throwing hero.
If this report from Omega Underground is accurate, then the Gambit solo movie could also set up a clear path to introducing the villains for the X-Force movie as well. Candra is a member of a group known as The Externals, which has frequently found itself embroiled in conflict with the more lethal mutant anti-hero team across a broad range of stories. Additionally, there's also room for her inclusion to pave the way for the establishment of criminal groups The Marauders and The Nasty Boys. Though the X-Men franchise has excelled by producing more self-contained properties with projects like Deadpool and Logan, it's pretty clear that there's some subtle world-building at play here.
At this stage of Gambit's development, we can neither confirm nor deny whether or not 20th Century Fox truly wants to introduce Candra into the silver screen X-Men universe. That said, we will know for sure by the time the film's February 14, 2019 release date rolls around. Elsewhere in the X-Men universe, New Mutants will debut next year on April 13, 2018; Deadpool 2 will premiere on June 1, 2018, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix will round out the pack on November 2, 2018.