Gambit, the X-Men spin-off about popular kinetic Ragin’ Cajun Remy LeBeau, is finally rolling forward now that star Channing Tatum has locked in his deal. Fox has their star and now they are seeking to cast the project’s female lead. So who are they looking at?
Of their top three choices, Two are Mission: Impossible veterans, one is also a James Bond veteran, and the third road with Mad Max. Gambit doesn’t deserve these women, but he might just end up with one in his film all the same. Actresses Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation), Lea Seydoux (Blue Is The Warmest Color, Spectre), and Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road, The Neon Demon) are all being courted to play the role of Bella Donna Boudreaux, according to Deadline.
In the comics, Bella Donna was Gambit’s first love and the two were entangled in a Romeo & Juliet-esque star-crossed romance. Gambit hailed from the Thieves Guild, whereas Bella Donna came from their rivals, the Assassins Guild. An alliance between the two was to be created through the marriage of Gambit and Bella Donna. As with most tragic loves, things went sour and Gambit eventually walked away from both Bella Donna and his home city of New Orleans, Louisiana.
It had already been rumored that the film might tackle Gambit’s NOLA origins and the war between the Guilds. The auditioning of actresses to play Bella Donna Boudreaux confirms this. I imagine the project will detail Gambit’s return to New Orleans after time spent abroad, laced with flashbacks to his early days in the Thieves Guild and with Bella Donna.
This should give the film its own flavor and help to separate from the X-Men films we already have. It would essentially be a crime film that just happens to have a few mutants in it, as opposed to a team-centric venture like most of the other X-films to date. While I’m sure a few more mutants beyond Gambit himself will be utilized (Bella Donna being one), I expect this will mostly be populated with human characters.
Moving back to the actresses circling the role, all are wonderful choices who have shown themselves as capable with dramatic sequences as they are with physical stunts. Any of the three would make a wonderful choice for the part. If one of them snags the role, the film will be lucky to have another great lead.
It saddens me, however, that after each one having a breakout role in a franchise picture this year, they are being offered the role of “Gambit’s ex-girlfriend”, as opposed to their own lead role, be it in a dramatic effort or an action film. These women should be chased after for parts like Carol Danvers in Marvel’s pending Captain Marvel film or in more original fare, similar to the incredibly successful Scarlett Johansson-led Lucy last year. They shouldn’t be stuck playing second fiddle in someone else’s franchise yet again.
Regardless, Gambit is slated to shoot this fall ahead of its October 7, 2016 release. Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) is directing from a script by Joshua Zetumer (RoboCop remake), itself based on a treatment by famed “X-Men” writer Chris Claremont. Reid Carolin and star Channing Tatum are producing.
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