As we enter the aftermath of the opening weekend of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the discussions of spinoffs and sequels hit full throttle.
We’ve heard for a while now about the internal discussions at Fox about the many possible films that can branch out from the series so far. These include X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2, Deadpool, X-Men: First Class, X-Men Origins: Magneto and a Gambit solo.
Well, what’s it going to be?
With Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine origins movie banking nearly $160 Million worldwide this weekend, we can expect to see some green lights on upcoming Fox productions in the X-Men franchise.
For now, let’s talk about what the actors want to see in the future. The other day, I wrote about Ryan Reynolds and his desire to not only have his own Deadpool solo movie, but to feature the character Cable as his opposite in the film. I’m all for that idea as I thought Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson in the Wolverine movie was one of the best parts (pre-Weapon XI that is).
For those who don’t know the character, Cable is the son of Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Madelyne Pryor (Jean Grey’s clone) who was taken to the future only to return as a much older and hardened mutant. This will certainly not be his origin if he is ever to appear in the movies. At least, not until the X-Men franchise is rebooted in the not-too-distant future.
I also thought that Cable would be a good character to introduce into the X-franchise and I proposed that a good place for his introduction would be in X-Men: First Class as it will bring back major characters Cyclops and Jean Grey back into the mix (and possibly Emma Frost). That way, Cable would known by audiences by the time Deadpool is made.
So, out of the solo possibilities, Deadpool seems a more likely choice than Gambit, if not for the fact Ryan Reynolds has significantly more star power than Taylor Kitsch.
As for Gambit, he is one of my favorite characters from the comics and of the classic nineties animated series. In the movie, he does not earn such praise from me.
While Gambit is a cool character and Taylor Kitsch a good actor, together they do not meet the basic needs of what many fans of the character want. Gambit needs his Cajun accent and his French catch-phrases – that is essential.
In the comments section of Screen Rant’s review of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, you may have seen my review of the movie where I discuss a few of the characters. In it, I talk about how Gambit came off as some cocky southern kid and didn’t have the coolness or suave that the real Gambit puts forth. He wasn’t a bad character in the movie; he was just a weak character who could jump 50 feet high and nothing like the Marvel versions.
Regardless, Gambit is one of the spinoff possibilities. What does Taylor Kitsch, the actor who plays him want in a Gambit spinoff? In speaking to MTV before X-Men Origins: Wolverine hit theaters, the Canadian actor of Friday Night Lights fame said:
“I would love to go darker… [Gambit] in Vegas was fun, but I want to go into the Thieves Guild part of his story.”
“How cool would it be to see him stealing things to survive because the stakes are so high?… Of course, as an actor, I’m always going to the darker side, but for him that would just be way more intriguing.”
“Come on, Fox… Let’s do it.”
I always love when an actor is passionate about his character, but I really want a Gambit flick to be really friggin’ good. In order for that to happen, Gambit needs to portrayed more accurately on screen. And for the movie to be bankable, they’re going to need some big names in the supporting cast.
How about Anna Paquin who played Rogue in the X-Men trilogy and who’s keeping busy with HBO series, True Blood? Taylor Kitsch has this to say about that idea:
“There are two things with that — she’s such a great actress and I’d love to work with her, and that would be cool to see Gambit and Rogue.”
“I’d also like to see the charming Gambit on his own and see how he is with other women — see how he is with the women in the casino there, with the charm and the suave and the effortlessness it takes with him… That’s something I’d like to explore as well.”
I don’t know how this can work. Taylor Kitsch’s Gambit lives on-screen twenty years prior to our introduction to the lame adaptation of Rogue in the X-Men trilogy. This would mean that any Gambit and Rogue romance would take place after X3: The Last Stand where Rogue would hopefully acquire some new powers and Gambit would be much older.
A movie showing Rogue leaving the X-Mansion and chock full of cameos from all the characters from X3 would be pretty cool. But again, I really dislike X3 and unless Gambit learns some Cajun and throws more cards, I’m not interested.
In conclusion, can a Gambit and Rogue movie work? I don’t think so in the current franchise set-up unless their Gambit has a longer life span and doesn’t age. Do I want a Gambit solo movie? Yes and no – It (and the character) needs to be done right and have some strong supporting cast members to be financially viable as a feature.
Before we finish, there’s one more character spinoff concept I want to talk about just for fun (or to make fun of?). Who could I be talking about? Well, none other than everyone’s not-so-favorite Mistress of the Elements, Queen of Wakanda, Storm! Played by Halle Berry.
This will be quick, I promise.
Halle Berry almost didn’t take part in X3 due to her contract demands after her Oscar win. She threatened to leave unless given more screen time, a bigger role, etc. and that may or may not have had an impact on much of what happened with the third X-Men movie. Obviously she ended up in the movie despite the contract issues and an online petition fighting for her not to be. Luckily, she had no interest in doing a spinoff on her own and she believed X3 would be the last. At the Cannes Film Festival in 2006, she said:
“Storm won’t be spinning off… I have no real desire to do that,”
“It is the group of all of them together and that is what has made the series so successful.”
Awesome, it was settled… until the People’s Choice Awards where she won “Favorite Female Action Star” for her role as Storm in X3 against a non-existent competition. Upon accepting the award, she seemed more interested in doing more X-movies:
“You guys really love X-Men? Ok, here’s what you have to do. Write letters. Every one of you in this building who love X-Men and want to see X-Men 4, write a letter to Tom Rothman at Fox and tell him so and you will get another one, and I’ll be there too.”
That was three years ago. Now, with Hugh Jackman and his solo film earning big bucks and a lot of buzz online prior to the release, David Bentley over at The Geek Files reported that Halle had this to say at one of the premieres:
“I think Storm deserves her own movie. I think that would be great”.
X-Men: Storm solo movie? No thanks. That’s about as exciting as Catwoman 2 and it’s a shame because Storm is one of the strongest and greatest characters of the Marvel Universe.
What do you think of all these spinoff ideas and what the actors have in mind for them?