It’s amazing how quickly things can change in the industry. Six months ago, our sources had Gambit as dead and the current threesome of X-Men flicks on the way (Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, The Wolverine 2) absolutely pegged as the FINAL films in the Singerverse. What was Fox planning on doing after that? The rumors are a toss up. I’m not entirely sure even they knew what they wanted to do with the rights, aside from maintaining a hold on them. A lot has changed since then, as it now appears that X-Men: Apocalypse will be the end of one era and the beginning of a new. But if Hugh Jackman is walking away from grizzled loner hero Wolverine in 2017, who will be the franchise’s new loveable rogue? The answer could very well be Channing Tatum‘s Remy LeBeau (aka Gambit).
Yes, the project is alive and well, and it recently landed a director in the former of Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ Rupert Wyatt. The project is surprisingly still on target for its initially-announced October 2016 release date and is set to begin production later this year. The script is being rewritten as we speak, pre-production is slowly gearing up, and our favorite magic dancer is hard at work with his own preparations for the role, as stated in a recent interview with Digital Spy…
It’s all being worked on at the moment. I’m from the south, so I know who to go to to find the accent. I haven’t found ‘the guy’ yet, because generally that’s how I do accents. I’ll find the person I want to sound like and not just do a generic Cajun accent. So I haven’t found the guy yet.
It also appears that Fox still hasn’t fully decided how much they will integrate Gambit into the franchise as a whole at first. Will it be gradual or will he crossover to the main series right off the bat? Producer Reid Carolin has weight in on that very subject…
It’s sort of an evolving conversation in that we’re kind of figuring that out as we go. But this is a standalone movie. It’s a story of Gambit. We’ll probably gradually integrate that character into the ‘X-Men’ universe as we go. And as far as what characters from the “X-Men” universe make it into the movie, we’re not exactly sure yet. So we’re figuring it out. It’s still in the script stage… It’s really just his [origin] story in New Orleans.
Of course, Gambit has already appeared once on screen in the franchise, debuting in 2009’s atrocious X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I personally thought current True Detective co-lead Taylor Kitsch did the best he could with what he was given, but it’s easy to see why the producers decided to move on to someone else. The less that film is tied to the series canon, the better. Might Hugh Jackman pop in for a cameo to see what his old pal Remy is up to? It certainly wouldn’t be unheard of, especially with Wolverine rumored to show up to some degree in both Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse next year. Why not make it a hat trick?
Beyond Wolverine, the already-established characters that would make the most sense to appear is Storm, given her history with Gambit. It’s honestly hard to say what kind of trump cards Tatum, Wyatt, and Carolin have up their sleeves at the moment. I’m sure we’ll hear more in the coming months, perhaps even a bit next week at Comic-Con?