Simon Kinberg has revealed which movies will serve as influences for their Gambit film. Remy LeBeau, as he is otherwise known, made his comic debut in 1990. Created by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee, he proved hugely popular with fans, especially regarding his on-again, off-again relationship with his future wife Rogue. Although the character was a recurring presence on animated shows, his only live-action appearance was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where he was played by Taylor Kitsch.
Fox has sought to rectify that as far back as 2014, with Channing Tatum signing on to star in a solo adaptation. The film, however, has been plagued with numerous delays ever since. At last word, the movie was set to start filming in February 2019. More recent reports, however, have pushed the release date back to March 2020. What this means for the start of shooting remains unclear. With still no director firmly attached, production will need to pick up the pace to avoid further delays.
Although Kinberg has been hard at work directing the next installment of the franchise, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Gambit is still very much at the forefront of his mind. Speaking exclusively to Screen Rant at NYCC, he revealed that not only does he expect the project to move forward but that they already have specific cinematic influences mapped out. Check out his full comments below:
"I think with the standalone movies, meaning Logan and Deadpool. Not mainline, X-Men movies, one of the things we've strived to do is sort of create a sub-genre within the genre of the superhero movie. Obviously Deadpool was like a R-rated comedy. Logan was very much a western. And, so we talked a lot about who Gambit is. And it's always motivated by the character is. We talked a lot about who Gambit is as a character and the things that Channing [Tatum] relates to in the character. And so obviously he's a thief, obviously you know his superpowers, those things are going to be very present and prevalent in the movie. But he's also a scoundrel, and a rascal, and a womanizer, and a lot of other things that we felt like we could explore in his relationships with women and one of the genres that is underserviced genre now is the romantic comedy. So whenever we can smuggle some other genre into one of these kinds of movies... I mean I did it with...The first movie I ever wrote was Mr. and Mrs. Smith and that was a romantic comedy smuggled into a spy thriller. In the same way that on the surface it will be a superhero movie with you know. People love superpowers and things are going to explode and there's going to be car chases and all of that. Doing all the powers and cards that you are familiar with. Underneath that will be romantic comedy undercurrents and it's not really like Rom-coms from when we were growing up. Or when I was growing up. It's more going back to like Philadelphia Story and His Girl Friday and just the kind of pattern banter of that and the fun and speed of those kinds of movies."
This isn't the first time Kinberg has made mention of Gambit potentially having a romantic comedy vibe. At this point, it would be easy to take any news regarding Gambit with a pinch of salt. The fact that specific inspirations are being discussed now, however, does show hopeful signs of traction. How Disney's looming acquisition of Fox will affect the progress remains to be seen, but it's promising nonetheless. Even more promising is the desire to follow such sub-genre, standalone works as Deadpool and Logan. Both films have served as some of Fox's more successful superhero outings in recent years, but critically and commercially.
The kind of repartee prevalent in the aforementioned films would certainly lend itself to the character of Gambit. Tatum, after all, could probably tackle such a role in his sleep. Still, for most comic book fans, it's difficult to imagine the character engaging in such things with anybody but Rogue. Although Anna Paquin is open to returning, it is probably extremely unlikely, even after all the retcons of the timeline. Though it's possible to have another character serve as a stand-in, much like Iceman did in the core X-Men films, the character might be better served as more of a heist movie, with romantic and comedy elements peppered in rather than as the central conceit. As a member of a Thieves' guild prior to joining the X-Men, that time in his life might be more ripe for exploration. Whatever happens, though, fans will surely just keeping their fingers crossed that a decent version of the character makes it to the screen sooner or later.