The game of Gambit blackjack has been running since Channing Tatum was first linked to the project in 2005. Across those 11 years, a number of people involved have opted to twist, including directors Rupert Wyatt and Doug Liman.
With every day bringing a new announcement of a new X-Men venture, even the most faithful of fans may've doubted whether Gambit would see the light of day. Tatum, however, has remained resolute, firmly sticking with the project with the unyielding faith of a confident card-counter.
Shortly following the news of the latest X-Men (probably working) title, #Supernova, Buzzfeed reporter Jarett Wieselman revealed that long-term #XMen producer Lauren Shuler Donner confirmed Tatum is "still attached," despite the film's vacation within the smouldering depths of development hell.
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Such news is a vote of confidence, but there is still some way to go before the dream turns into a reality. For a start, the film is still director-less; #Gambit originally had a release date of October, 2016, but Wyatt's departure in 2015 — followed by replacement director Liman leaving to work on Justice League Dark in August 2016 — derailed the hype-train of card-throwing excitement.
Since then — silence. And in the interim, announcements of Deadpool 2, New Mutants, Deadpool 3 (really) and a X-Men saga, Supernova. Donner's announcement is well-timed, and a strong indication that #Fox are keeping their belief in the project, as well as belief that the script — reportedly one of the big reasons for the delay — will eventually be completed to the desired standard.
'Gambit' Is A Character Perfect For The Big Screen
It's not surprising the studio, and Tatum, haven't given up on Gambit. Making his debut in 1990, Remy Etienne LeBeau immediately gained a large fanbase, impressed by his charisma, style and Cajun accent. He made his short-lived live-action debut in 2009, portrayed by Taylor Kitsch in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
As well as being skilled in hand-to-hand combat, Gambit has the ability to make objects explode by charging them with kinetic energy, his trademark favorite tool the seemingly harmless playing card.
Little is known about the proposed plot of the Gambit solo movie, although there have been hints of an origin story. Additional characters linked with the film include Bella Donna Boudreux, a skilled assassin and Gambit's love interest. French actress Léa Seydoux has been linked to the project.
In terms of bad guys, it'd make sense for Gambit to battle Mister Sinister; the pair have a colourful history in the comics, and Sinister is looming in the background of the X-Verse after the Apocalypse post-credit scene, giving Gambit the opportunity to join up with the rest of the onscreen mutants.
Although not necessarily every fan's number one choice, #ChanningTatum has the potential to make the role his own. The actor has had a varied career, and balances the right mix of magnetism, likeability and all-action physicality that will lend itself well to the role of Gambit. That's not to mention a commitment to the project akin to Ryan Reynolds devotion to Deadpool. And look how that worked out.
The Slate Of Play: Where Does Gambit Fit?
If Gambit is still on the agenda, when can we expect a release date? For the sake of pure speculation, let's speculate. Fox currently have five dates on their upcoming slate, as follows:
- March 3, 2017 — Logan
- March 2, 2018 — New Mutants?
- June 29, 2018 — Deadpool 2?
- November 2, 2018 — X-Men: Supernova?
- February 14, 2019 — Gambit?
Out of those five, Logan — Hugh Jackman's last appearance as Wolverine — is already confirmed and close to release. Three films will begin production this year: New Mutants, Supernova and Deadpool 2. From what we know, including the potential summer release of the latter, Josh Boone's New Mutants could take the March or November spot.
That leaves Valentines Day 2019 as the most likely candidate, which still gives Gambit enough time to go ahead with production. Hopefully, after years of delay, the game of Gambit blackjack will produce a perfect 21, and prove the wait was worth it.
Is Channing Tatum right to stick with the Gambit movie?
(Image Source: Linus614)