Ever since Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class, Fox has been working to expand the X-Men cinematic universe. Bryan Singer’s follow-up to Vaughn’s movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past, received positive reviews from fans and critics (and earned a lot of money at the worldwide box office). While Fox’s upcoming projects connected to the X-Men cinematic universe, Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse, have generated a lot of attention with their productions, Gambit has yet to actually begin filming.
Actor Channing Tatum and X-Men prouder Lauren Shuler Donner have been pushing for the mutant Remy LeBeau, a.k.a. Gambit, to receive his own spinoff movie for more than a year now. The project is finally moving forward with writer Joshua Zetumer (RoboCop) and director Rupert Wayatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes); as the movie will come out after Singer’s Apocalpyse, though, it has been unclear when Tatum would make his big screen debut as the card-throwing mutant. There have been rumors he’ll have a cameo in Apocalypse to help give his spinoff more attention, but according to Tatum, that isn’t going to happen.
During the actor’s Reddit AMA, a fan asked if moveigoers can expect to see the Ragin’ Cajun in next year’s X-Men: Apocalypse. Tatum gave a clear answer, saying, “No ma’am, or sir. I definitely will not.” The Magic Mike XXL star also commented on the recent announcement that Wyatt will helm the project, stating the director’s passionate about the opportunity and this movie has the chance to offer something different:
We finally found someone that I really do believe wants to make Gambit, it will be the second standalone character. And i just really think because Gambit is not the most popular or the biggest hero, I think there’s a really unique opportunity. Marvel’s done a lot of great movies that have made a ridiculous amount of money, and it’s always good to figure how to change the form.
Introducing the agile X-Man in Apocalypse would be an effective way to re familiarize movieogers with the anti-hero from Marvel, as well as generate hype for his upcoming solo adventure. It’s worth noting he was once one of Apocalypse’s horsemen – a decision he made because he thought it could protect the people he cares about. Remy was willingly transformed into Death, giving him the ability to create toxic gas in the air. However, for that story to be truly compelling in theaters, it likely requires the viewer to already have an emotional connection to Remy and an understanding of his relationship with other characters.
Given the fact Apocalypse has plenty on its plate – the Magneto/Mystique dynamic, more of Professor X’s earlier story, the introduction of Apocalypse, and plenty of other mutants – the decision not to incorporate Tatum’s character is understandable. Then again, there’s always the possibility he’s lying so the character’s potential cameo/role is a big surprise. We’ll just have to wait and see.
In addition, Tatum praised Zetumer’s Gambit script, saying it’s “killer.” The actor commented on the comic book genre as well, stating there’re often so many tropes – like saving the world – and they plan to “shift things a little bit” for Remy LeBeau’s onscreen origins tale. There’s no word yet on who else the story may incorporate, but in the comics, Gambit’s earlier years revolved around a conflict between the Thieves’ Guild – which he was a part of – and the Assassins’ Guild. He also had a close bond with Storm (who is being played by Alexandra Shipp in Apocalypse) and he was part of a brutal event called the Mutant Massacre, a violent incident in which he led mercenaries to slaughter mutants living in the sewers, only to attempt and prevent the bloodbath from happening (an event that took a heavy toll on his conscious).
Point being, there’s plenty of compelling comic book material for the Gambit movie to draw from. Next step: finding out exactly which Gambit comic-based storylines are adapted for Tatum’s spinoff film.
Fantastic Four opens on August 7, 2015; Deadpool on February 12, 2016; X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit on October 7, 2016; Wolverine 3 (not the official title) on March 3, 2017; Fantastic Four 2 on June 9, 2017; and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13, 2018.
Source: Channing Tatum