Way back in 2014, it was confirmed that Channing Tatum would be playing the role of Gambit in an upcoming X-Men spin-off film. The actor, who is famous for roles in Magic Mike and White House Down, has admitted to being a lifelong fan of the popular comic book character, and even auditioned for the part in X-Men: The Last Stand. The character didn’t end up appearing in the 2006 film, however. Since the announcement of the Gambit film three years ago, little seems to have happened with moving the project forward, and fans are now worrying that it might not go ahead at all.
Gambit is one of the most popular Marvel comic book characters not to have been immortalised in film on a regular basis. Although the X-Men writers had considered the character for the original trilogy, he has only made one appearance in cinema to date, which was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Gambit was one of the few highlights of an otherwise poor cinematic offering which received a disappointing score of 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. The character is famous for having exceptional kinetic ability which he uses to control playing cards and his iconic staff. He also possesses a strong hypnotic charm which allows him to influence human beings and make them agree with his suggestions.
One thing that Gambit is well known for saying is that “you should always play the hand you’re dealt.” Using his hypnotic abilities this would be alright for Gambit in a tournament situation, but some poker players may disagree with the mutant there. Although professionals like Phil Ivey have been known to skilfully bluff opponents into folding while they themselves hold a weaker hand, most internet poker players would recommend playing a longer game. Patience is one of the best assets to have when playing free poker games online for instance, but that wouldn’t be too exciting in a film, though, would it? Still, it would be quite amusing to watch Gambit log in to a poker site, claim his £20 deposit bonus, and then play the long game. Maybe such a scene would work in terms of comic relief.
Poker players along with comic book fans would surely love to see Gambit in action on the big screen, and it would most definitely provide a break from all the Wolverine offerings over the years. Despite a lack of information about what to expect from the Gambit film, producer Simon Kinberg recently assured moviegoers that it would still be going ahead. He said that “when you have these movies that need a very special and unique tone, it takes a little while to find that tone.” It was also noted that Tatum was still in line to play the character when the film is ready to be made.
After the success of Deadpool last year, which became the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time, film producers will now be scrambling to create similar offerings with lesser-known characters. Moving away from the blockbuster family flicks and the path that the Avengers has taken can provide a lot more freedom for the filmmakers to tell the stories they want to tell, rather than try to appease large audiences. Gambit has the potential to work as a standalone film where viewers can really get a sense of the character’s awesomeness.