2016 is shaping up to be a banner year for 20th Century Fox and their X-Men films. Not only is Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse going to end the trilogy that was started in X-Men: First Class, the studio also has two solo films for fan-favorite characters coming through the pipeline. We speak, of course, of Deadpool and Gambit, the latter of which dodged a major scare and now officially has Channing Tatum on board to star.
With the leading man signed, director Rupert Wyatt has turned his attention to the supporting cast, making the character of Belladonna Boudreaux the top priority. A few weeks back, a short list of candidates emerged, and now Fox has made an official offer to one of those actresses.
Deadline is reporting that Léa Seydoux is the studio’s top choice for the part and has made the offer available if she wants. The outlet also says that screen tests were scheduled (with Rebecca Ferguson and Abbey Lee joining Seydoux, as previously reported), but those plans appear to have been scrapped when Ferguson dropped out of contention to take a lead role in The Girl on the Train.
It’s not entirely surprising that Fox is going with Seydoux for Belladonna. Nothing against Lee or her acting ability (she did prove her worth as one of Mad Max: Fury Road‘s five wives), but Seydoux has more experience out of the two. She’s also been in her fair share of tentpoles, with a supporting role in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and an upcoming turn as a Bond girl in this fall’s Spectre. With Gambit looking to have a $150+ million budget, the studio probably feels more comfortable with someone who has a deeper filmography for a primary part.
For those not in the know, Belladonna Boudreaux is one of the most important characters in the Gambit mythos. She was the Ragin’ Cajun’s childhood friend, even though the two unknowingly came from rival guilds. Remy LeBeau aka Gambit was part of the Thieves Guild, while Belladonna was a member of the Assassins. In the comics, their relationship evolved into a very complicated one, with Remy and Belladonna’s fathers forcing the pair into a marriage in an effort to unite the guilds. Eventually, Belladonna also developed powers of her own and rose to be the head of the Assassins, with Remy becoming the leader of the Thieves.
Though plot details for the Gambit movie are being kept under wraps for now, it’s plausible to think the film will draw from some of those elements. On paper, there’s enough material there to create a rich character drama that’s almost Shakespearean in nature. Not only would the dynamic between Remy and Belladonna be interesting to watch, seeing the effects of a larger conflict between two rival factions could be a nice change of pace from the typical comic book movie fare, while also setting up a strong foundation to explore in potential sequels.
In the meantime, Seydoux should prove to be a worthy addition for the project (should she sign on). She’s displayed serious acting chops in a wide range of films and is perfectly capable of handling herself in a big action sequence or two. There isn’t more you could ask for from the female lead in a Hollywood blockbuster.
Fantastic Four is now in theaters, Deadpool will open on February 12, 2016; X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit on October 7, 2016; Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017; Fantastic Four 2 on June 9, 2017; and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.