When it comes to the X-Men, one of the more popular members of the team since the 90’s has been the member, Gambit. His real name is Remy LeBeau and his mutant is the ability to charge any object with kinetic energy and cause that object to explode. In addition to this, he was one of the world’s greatest thieves and belongs to the Thieve’s Guild in New Orleans. The character has always had an air of mystery about him that helped him grow in popularity. When he became a member of the X-Men, his Southern charm and charisma helped him stand out and got him a leading role into the very popular 90’s X-Men animated series. So it would come to no surprise that he would be wanted in the live action movie series that started in 2000.
There were always rumors about the character appearing in many of the X-Men films but they never materialized. That all changed when the character made his debut in X-Men Orgins: Wolverine. While there was nothing per se wrong with Kitsch as Gambit, the film he debuted in was an absolute mess. So the series got a soft reboot in 2011 with X-Men: First Class and this version of Gambit was soon left by the wayside. Then in 2014 after the wild success of X-Men: Days of Future Past, it was soon announced that Gambit would be getting a standalone film in late 2016.
2015 brought in the announcement that Channing Tatum had been cast in the title role. While Tatum would never be on the top of the list, many did not oppose the casting as one might expect. He used to be known as something of a pretty boy with limited acting ability but over the years grew as a credible actor. Tatum even made a “surprise appearance” at San Diego Comic-Con 2015 with the rest of the cast members who were in the various X-Men movies. So everything seemed to be on track for the movie to get started as there was a director, Rupert Wyatt, attached to helm the movie.
Problems started to arise when the director left the project. Then news reports started to come out that the budget for the film was around $200 million. Only two X-Men films have cost this much or more and that has a cast of multiple stars. This is when the red flags started and as 2015 continued on, the movie had yet to start production. Director Doug Liman, who started the Bourne franchise, was attached to helm the production. There were even multiple reports about the female lead. Then 2016 came along and the movie had still yet to start production.
Trouble definitely came around with the runaway success of Deadpool. That film was only made for a modest $65 million and growing over 10 times it budget worldwide. No doubt the executives at Fox started to look at the large budget of Gambit and knew that something was amiss. The movie still had not started by spring 2016 and was soon quietly pushed back from it’s October 2016 release date to an undetermined date. Liman then was announced to be doing another project and the Gambit movie was looking to be dead.
Channing Tatum continued to say that he was still attached to the project. X-Men film producer Simon Kinberg announced in July 2016 that the film was still on the way and would hopefully started shooting sometime in the beginning of 2017. This brings about one of the biggest questions though. Does anyone actually want amovie about Gambit. Many feel that he would work better if introduced in a proper X-Men film and then spun off. Some feel that he works best in an ensemble and doesn’t need a solo film.
Either way the case, the production on Gambit has been troubled and from the get go. This may stem from the lack of direction that faces the X-Men film franchise as a whole. Will the movie be made with Tatum in the title role? The longer the movie seems to drag on, the less it seems likely. This doesn’t seem to be a Ryan Reynolds/Deadpool case as Tatum does not seem to be that personally invested. But only time will tell. Come the end of 2016 and nothing concrete has been announced, it would be wise to assume that the movie is getting some sort of major overhaul.