Chris Hemsworth has revealed that he came close to portraying Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The actor has been playing Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2011, most recently reprising the role for mega-hit Avengers: Endgame.
Remy LeBeau made his first live-action appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, with Taylor Kitsch in the part. The film wasn’t exactly well-received, but Gambit has always been a popular character. It wasn’t too long before a movie centering on the Ragin’ Cajun was in the works, with Channing Tatum in the titular role and possibly directing. After all, Deadpool was given a second chance after his infamous role in the same Wolverine film, and that turned out to be more successful than anyone could’ve predicted. Gambit was set to begin filming this past February, but has instead been shelved indefinitely due to Disney’s recent acquisition of Fox.
Speaking to Variety, Hemsworth explained that prior to his casting as Thor, he came close to suiting up as Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The actor discussed other near misses as well, including G.I. Joe, a role that eventually went to Channing Tatum. He stated, “I got very close to Gambit in the Wolverine ‘X-Men’ movies. At the time I was upset. I was running out of money. But if I played either of those characters, I wouldn’t have been able to play Thor.”
With mainstays such as Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans seemingly finished with the MCU after Endgame, there's been a lot of speculation about Hemsworth’s future as the God of Thunder. He was reportedly ready to hang up his hammer prior to filming Thor: Ragnarok, but that experience really seemed to reinvigorate Thor for him. Thor 4 has yet to be officially green-it, but Tessa Thompson, who plays Valkyrie, previously stated that the film has already been pitched by Ragnarok director, Taika Waititi. Either way, Hemsworth’s dance card is pretty full, with the upcoming release of Men in Black: International and the recent announcement that he'll star as Hulk Hogan in a biopic about the famed wrestler.
Hemsworth may have been crushed at the time about losing out on the opportunity to play Gambit, but the actor clearly understands that everything worked out for the best. While it's possible that he could’ve played Gambit and still been later cast as Thor - Chris Evans famously portrayed Johnny Storm in Fox’s Fantastic Four films before landing the part of Captain America for Marvel Studios - it’s also possible that the film’s poor reception would've soured him on the superhero experience. Hemsworth has defined the God of Thunder for an entire generation who can’t imagine anyone else ever wielding Mjolnir in his stead. Fans hope to see him reprise the role, whether in Thor 4 or possibly even Guardians of the Galaxy 3.
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