X-Men: Days of Future Past is coming and it honestly feels like a peak for Fox and their Marvel films. Hugh Jackman is getting old and won’t be able to play the ageless mutant that much longer. Even though I like his portrayal of Wolverine, I wouldn’t say the overall consensus of his films have been held in high regard. Marvel Studios/Disney are pretty much set to clean house with their lineup primarily revolving around the Avengers and its respective spin-offs. Sony is making a strong comeback with their reboot of Spider-Man and their adapted “Phase One” formula they’re applying to the villainous Sinister Six. 20th Century Fox is the other studio in the Marvel mix but the only studio that has not strongly bought into the character spin-off formula. With that said, I suggest that Fox explore the possibility of a spin-off with a lightly mentioned X-Men character known as Remy LeBeau AKA Gambit and here are my reasons.
1. Audiences Love The Anti-Hero
Gambit is a superhero and even apart of the X-Men, but he’s also the topic of a lot of controversy. His origins are surrounded by thievery and crime which makes him a character that carefully walks that moral line. This creates a sense of distrust for his character but also makes him a moral underdog that people root for to do the right thing. He may lie, cheat, steal, and manipulate but this kind of emotional rollercoaster is what makes his heroism so rewarding when it comes.
2. Ladies Love the Bad Boys
With so many Marvel films, the female demographic should definitely be considered when it comes to sex appeal and Gambit is that sex appeal. He’s confident, smooth talking, loves women, and has that mysterious background that women want to discover even though they know they might find trouble. While the ladies are swooning over him, the guys are wanting to be him because of his appeal. With the right actor playing Gambit, his character could bring in a more diverse audience than many other Marvel films.
3. The Setting is a Proven Winner
With the diverse influences of the French, American, and Native American, Gambit’s home of New Orleans, Louisiana is a proven winner for filming. The architecture has a renaissance type appeal and it is one of the most aesthetically pleasing, distinguishable cities in the United States. Without any Hollywood magic you have mystery, allure, awe, and sex appeal that surround the city which is why it is a frequent setting for many films. It’s the perfect setting for that “dark feel” that people are looking for in today’s characters and the scenery seems to captivate audiences every single time.
4. Gambit Surpassed Wolverine in Popularity
While Wolverine may have maintained steady popularity as a Marvel figure, Gambit arguably surpassed him during the peak of Marvel comics. During the 1990s there was a surge in comic book production and comic book readers. During that time readers continually loved Wolverine but became obsessed with the newcomer Gambit. His toys were sold out everywhere and hard to come by, he was quickly given a comic book mini-series that rose in popularity, and he began to receive a lot more time in the spotlight as Marvel began to recognize his popularity.
5. Cameo in a Crappy Film Doesn’t Equal Crappy Character
Yes, there has been a Gambit already. Taylor Kitsch played the role of Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine which I consider to be the worst thing to spawn from the X-Men franchise. But just because they introduced Gambit in the worst possible film, does that mean that they should dismiss the character?…No it does not. The role was so brief and didn’t explore any of his origin which is where Gambit’s character development would excel Sure we got a taste of some cool card throwing and bo staff work but his character was insignificant in the film. And while I do think it’s due to poor film choices, Taylor Kitsch was an actor whose career sank quicker than the Titanic which also does no justice for Gambit. Gambit is a character surrounded by dark history and if that is not explored then I consider that not to be a 100% portrayal of Gambit and with his character it’s all or nothing.
It is coincidental that in my urge to post this today, ComicBook.com has reported that Fox has expressed interest in doing spin-off films for Gambit, Mystique, and Deadpool. While I am pleased to hear this, I think that Fox will most likely focus on Mystique first, then Deadpool, and finally Gambit so it could be some time before we see our favorite cajun on the big screen.
In the recent past, Channing Tatum has shown interest in playing Gambit because of his love of New Orleans, the character, and the cajun lifestyle.
“I would like to play Gambit. Gambit’s my favorite. I’m from New Orleans, around that area. My dad’s from New Orleans, and I like to do a Cajun accent. I could do it for real. No knock on Taylor Kitsch [who played the character in ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’], though, ’cause I actually like his Gambit, but I’ve always lived around Cajun people. […] Gambit was always like the woman-loving, cigarette-smoking, drinking [guy]. He was the punk rock of all the superheroes. He’s a thief. He kind of rode the line.”
While he would definitely appeal to the ladies, I don’t know how he would do with the fans, but hey they do have Ben Affleck playing Batman so who knows. Being completely honest, I respect Tatum’s comments and his appreciation for the character. I think he’s shown some promise by expanding his acting range but I think I’d like to see Jupiter Ascending before I make a judgement. I personally, as a LOST fan, have had a desire to see Josh Holloway (Sawyer) take on the role of Gambit. His character on LOST is what I envision for a more modern inception of Gambit. Besides my fanboy choice, I’d probably most likely prefer a quality “no-name” actor to take the part just so I’m not disappointed by any preconceived notions. Outside of that…just make the damn film already!