With comic book movies being all the rage these days and becoming huge tentpole franchises, film studios are willing to take more chances on lesser known properties that might otherwise not have been made. Evidence of that can be seen in how passion projects like Deadpool for Ryan Reynolds and Gambit for Channing Tatum are now in development. Deadpool is much further along at this point (currently shooting with a February 2, 2016 release date), but Tatum is actively moving forward with Gambit as well.
Channing Tatum sat down with Empire magazine and discussed what attracted him to the character and why he wants to get this film made:
“I love Gambit. I grew up in the South; my father’s from Louisiana. We’d go to New Orleans and I heard all the dialects. It felt so different from the rest of America; it has its own ancient culture. So I identified with that. And he always felt the most real of the X-Men to me. He’s kind of a tortured soul and he’s not a good guy. But he’s not a bad guy, either. He walks his own path. And of course he plays cards and drinks and is a martial-arts bada**!”
Tatum went on to talk about the first draft of the screenplay by Josh Zetumer (Robocop):
“Josh Zetumer just turned in the first draft of the script, and it’s killer. None of us were sure how he was going to deal with the X-Men world. But we’re going to be changing some of the tropes of these movies. It’s always about saving the world (Laughs), but maybe we’re going to shift things a liittle but. There’s so many ways you can take [an origin story]. You could do it like Batman Begins, or a different take and go the Guardians of the Galaxy route. All I can say is, I’m super excited.”
Similar to Deadpool, this movie will try to reintroduce a character that was poorly executed in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. There’s a few additional questions when it comes to this project. Firstly, will this movie get lost in the shuffle among all the other superhero fare coming out in the next few years. Ignoring for the moment the Marvel Studios and DC big budget films, Fox alone has The Fantastic Four, X-Men: Apocalypse, Deadpool, New Mutants, and Wolverine 3 coming out in the next 2 years. Will there be enough fan support to make the Ragin’ Cajun a success?
Secondly, where does this film fit in with the X-Men movie continuity? The character was previously shown in the first Wolverine flick that took place somewhere around late 80’s early 90’s. There are rumors of a Gambit cameo in X-Men Apocalypse, which takes place in 1983. And then there’s the fact that the Deadpool will take place in the present. Tatum apparently got is wish for a Gambit origin story that would take place before he joins the X-Men team, but where that fits in is anyone’s guess.
Lauren Shuler Donner (longtime X-Men franchise producer) and Simon Kinberg (current overseer of Fox’s Marvel universe) are both producing the film, but they are still in search of a director. Reportedly Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Foxcatcher), Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler), Gareth Evans (The Raid: Redemption, The Raid 2) and J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year, All Is Lost) were all approached about directing the picture but turned it down. The good news it that Fox appears to be aiming high in order to churn outa quality product. The bad news is that they really need to begin shooting this fall in order to meet the expected October 7, 2016 release date sot hey need someone to sign on the dotted line fairly soon.
What are your thoughts about a Gambit film? Do you like Channing Tatum in the role? Who would be your ideal choice to helm the project? Gambit its et to be released October 7, 2016.