Gambit is finally going to make a modern X-Men appearance outside of the comics – in the podcast, Wolverine: The Lost Trail. To say fans have been waiting patiently for Gambit is an understatement. After years of teases and deleted cameos throughout the film series, fans had all but given up hope that the Ragin' Cajun would get a proper cinematic role. At this point, who knows if the long-gestating Gambit solo film will ever see the light of day?
Whatever the case may be on the big screen, the podcast scene is a different story. Following the success of Wolverine: The Long Night, work began on a second season of the Wolverine podcast. A co-production between Marvel and Stitcher radio, Wolverine: The Lost Trail follows Logan as he goes in search of a fragment of his shattered past. His quest leads him to the Louisiana bayou region, and that can only mean one thing: crossing paths with Remy LeBeau, AKA Gambit.
It's been a long time coming, but Gambit's time is finally here. After being teased on a computer screen in X2: X-Men United, his role was cut from X-Men: The Last Stand; the legend says it would have been little more than a cameo, so the filmmakers decided not to bother. Taylor Kitsch eventually debuted the character in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but the film was critically derided and is held in poor regard by fans, particularly in its treatment of Gambit, who was seen as little more than a glorified cameo with a superfluous fight scene which added little to the film. Channing Tatum was initially attached to debut his take on the character in X-Men: Apocalypse, but his role was written out in favor of debuting him in his solo film, which currently resides in development limbo due to the imminent Fox/Disney deal.
Thus, it's up to other mediums to pick up the slack - namely, the Wolverine podcast. Recently, Screen Rant participated in a roundtable interview with the cast of The Lost Trail at Stitcher's New York City headquarters. While the cast were reluctant to give out any details regarding Remy's role in the series, actor Bill Heck (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs) did share a few hints at what listeners can expect when the series begins on March 25. Says Heck:
"We don’t say “Gambit and Wolverine,” We say "Remy and Logan." We’re human first, and that strengthens the fun and the magic.”
By nature, podcasts, like radio before them, can invest deeply into dialogue and characterization. A wholly audio medium with no visual elements doesn't need to invest significant time to endless action setpieces, instead focusing on the characters who take part in the proceedings. It's so easy for a character like Gambit to be defined by his over-the-top powers, over-the-top costume, or over-the-top accent. Regarding the accent, Heck says:
"Some of the comics have a lot of Cajun going on, just in the text and the writing, and some don’t really touch it at all. We’re creating our own world, imagining what’s going to make sense for people to hear, what’s going to not take us out of it, what’s gonna let us really dive into it.”
As to the relationship between Remy and Logan, the actors were as coy as ever, but did share that Remy and Logan do, indeed, share a history of violence, as comrades in a conflict of some kind, though Heck curbed our questions with a mischievous and curt, "Stay tuned." Based on the pedigree of first season of the Wolverine podcast and the intelligent casting for this new season, hopes are high that this version of Gambit will finally be the version of the character for whom fans have been waiting. And indeed, fans have been waiting a long time.