Ever since the X-Men first hit theaters back in 2000, it’s been a superhero hit. As one of the first pioneers in the modern comic book movie era, the original trilogy of movies introduced a timeline that has since evolved far past its beginnings. But for a long period of time, the X-Men franchise was in something of a lull. Brett Ratner’s turn at directing for The Last Stand paired with the absolutely awful Origins film made for a true low-point in the once-proud series of films. Throughout all of this though, fans were constantly left wondering: Where’s Gambit?
The Cajun card-slinger made a brief appearance in the aforementioned Origins movie, but it was a tragically small role in a film known more for single-handedly ruining Deadpool. Now though, we’ll finally get our full dose of a character many fans number among their favorite characters in the X-Men universe. Can it work? Maybe. Just maybe.
1. Even today, Gambit is a fan-favorite
Why 20th Century Fox has avoided Gambit the way they have is baffling, but hey better late than never. Between his Cajun flare and his trench coat-centric style, in many ways he’s the Boba Fett of the X-Men: A character who doesn’t get the most attention all the time, but remains popular thanks to a large aesthetic appeal. Of course he’s had a slice of major arcs in the comics, but still he’s largely been ignored in the movie universe, save for a brief mention and a small appearance. We’ve now reached a point where fans feel as though they’ve wait long enough, making it the perfect time to utilize the star-power of Channing Tatum to finally bring forth the long-awaited Gambit movie.
2. Gambit’s story represents largely uncharted territory
We’ve learned a lot about many of our favorite X-Men over the last decade plus. We’ve seen the beginnings of Magneto as a child in Nazi Germany, and even the younger years of Charles Xavier, back when he had a full head of hair and looked less like Patrick Stewart and more like James McAvoy. The numerous films have even dug into the past of tertiary characters like Mystique, Nightcrawler, and Iceman. But with the exception of Taylor Kitsch’s run at Gambit in Origins, we’ve seen little of his backstory. For that very reason, the Gambit movie exists within entirely unexplored creative territory, giving it plenty of room to breath within an already fleshed-out X-Men movie-verse.
3. The focus won’t be on Wolverine
Of all the installments in the X-Men franchise, we’ve had all of one movie not centered around Wolverine (First Class). It certainly wasn’t the best of the bunch and debuted to middling results, but it was refreshing in its lack of inclusion of a character that’s dominated every other part of the series on-screen. With Gambit, we get the second instance of this, featuring a far more focused premise than First Class. Instead of being forced to introduce us to a whole new team of X-Men like its predecessor, instead we’re getting just the one hero. There’s plenty of Wolverine out there; it’s time to let another mutant occupy the spotlight.
4. It’ll be another step in the direction of forgetting X-Men Origins ever happened.
X-Men Origins was nothing short of a disaster in just about every sense of the term. It played fast and loose with the X-Men timeline, featured the worst special-effects of the entire franchise, and most importantly, it ruined freaking Deadpool. We’ve since began the healing process, with the new Bryan Singer X-Men movies choosing to throw out everything that happened in Origins. All the while, Ryan Reynolds is starring in a standalone Deadpool movie that continues the massive retcon. With Gambit getting recast, we can continue to purge Origins from our collective memory forever.
5. Channing Tatum and Doug Liman
We’ve known for a while that Channing Tatum had signed on for the titular role. As for the director’s chair though, we’ve already seen Rupert Wyatt allegedly sign on, only to abruptly leave the project. Replacing Wyatt will be Doug Liman, the director that brought us the instant sci-fi classic, Edge of Tomorrow. That alone should tell you that Liman is eminently qualified to crossover into the realm of superheroes. Any superhero movie requires a steady hand with a strong vision, and if Edge of Tomorrow is any indicator, that’s exactly what Gambit will be getting. [Update, 3/30/16: Per insider sources cited by The Hollywood Reporter, production on the film has been delayed until the end of 2016.]
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