Whatever is happening with that movie eh? It’s been a rough time for the Channing Tatum starring Fox-Marvel adaptation which has been floating around in ‘will they wont they’ development hell as of late, with the proposed release date of October 7, 2016 pushed way back into the nether.
The popular rumor as of late is that the eponymous star may be , which would certainly put more than a kink in things. Gambit’s only live action iteration thus far was back in the widely panned X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and his character (portrayed by Taylor Kitsch) was also criticised for being, well, not that great either.
But official news on the 20th Century Fox front regarding the future of the movie, after issues of scripting and the loss of director Rupert Wyatt to “start date conflicts” (via Variety), has simply been to remove the movie from their upcoming release schedule.
But Who Is Gambit?
You’ll probably remember the comic book Gambit — real name Remy LeBeau — best from his associations with the X-Men team. As for his movie counterpart, Simon Kinberg told MTV that the character will exist in the same Fox-Marvel Universe as the X-Men and Deadpool, which makes sense given his history.
Gambit has notably appeared as a long-running love interest of southern belle Rogue (whose filmic adaptation we do not speak of), created by X-Men legends Chris Claremont and Jim Lee back in the early 1990s.
First popping up in Claremont’s famous run on Uncanny X-Men, Gambit is a mutant who can manipulate kinetic energy and also has incredible hair, because any boyfriend of Rogue’s is gonna need to have some good hair game.
A former thief turned X-Man, Gambit hails from Louisiana and comes weilding a Cajun accent and a reputation for being a bit of a ladies man. His less than spotless background and previous association with villain Mister Sinister — as the next Big Bad of the X-Men movie universe — mean that there’s commonly been some unresolved tensions between Gambit and his fellow X-Men.
Obviously he’s not part of the Fox-Marvel X-Men team right now as we’ve yet to see him appear in any kind of meaningful capacity, but what will kind of powers will he be displaying when he makes his proper big screen debut?
As previously mentioned, Gambit’s main mutant power is the ability to manipulate kinetic energy, similar to Psylocke as she appeared in .
Gambit can covert the potential (resting) energy present within inanimate objects — such as his trademark playing cards — into raw kinetic energy.He can then manipulate this kinetic energy to create explosions and project said inanimate object through the air as a thrown weapon.
This kinetic charging takes place through skin contact, with the time it takes and the explosive capability of an object determined by its physical size. Whilst his cards charge quickly and explode with a force similar to a grenade, when charging his fighting staff to full potential he can use the weapon to bring down a building.
Less a super-power and more a learned one, Gambit is incredibly skilled at throwing cards, which are his go-to fighting weapon — as seen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
This was a skill he picked up during his time with a Thieves Guild, before he joined the X-Men. Additionally he’s also skilled in sleight of hand, pickpocketing, stealth, all the things you’d except from a super-powered thief.
His kinetic manipulation ability also gives him the typical roster of superhuman abilities, such as super-strength, agility and endurance, as well as enhanced speed, honed reflexes, and excellent dexterity and coordination, which contributes to his skill at card throwing.
These abilities are born from the fact that his body is constantly generating and recycling bio-kinetic energy, and so his muscles are honed in order to react to constant motion.
His enhanced physical abilities and upbringing have allowed Gambit to develop a pretty unique fighting style too, which combines acrobatics and martial arts with his bio-kinetic abilities.
He’s also got extensive training in various forms of martial arts (don’t all superheroes have that these days?). He’s an expert in kick-boxing and the Japanese staff weapon art Bōjutsu, as can be seen when he wields his fighting bo staff.
Here’s something interesting — Gambit is actually able to use the static created by the kinetic energy generated within his body to block his mind from psychic detection to an extent. Think Magneto’s famous helmet and you get the idea.
This means he’s able to shield his mind from even powerful telepaths such as Professor X and Jean Grey, a very handy ability to have for an ex-thief.
The New Sun (or New Son) was an alternate universe version of Gambit who showed up to target Gambit with a bunch of assassins, because of a little thing involving ancient prophecies and alternate universes (it gets complicated).
During this time Gambit was able to utilise the full extent of his latent powers, allowing for kinetic control over molecules, which really amped up his firepower. It also temporarily granted him the ability to heal himself by affecting his own molecules on the cellular level, which he used to restore his eyesight lost when a card exploded too close to his face.
These grand powers have since been removed — burning out after his battle with New Sun — but they demonstrate that his latent mutant abilities are more than just what they seem on the surface.
What do you want to see Gambit getting up to on the big screen? Hopefully his chat up lines will be better than they are in the animated series…