That's right folks, the tragic news has struck today that Channing Tatum will (probably) turn down the role of Gambit in his own X-Men spin-off solo movie. Love him or hate him, you can't deny that the Southern actor would have made a good fit for everyone's favorite Ragin' Cajun, but it seems like that won't happen. With Tatum leaving the role of this mutant high and dry, I thought I would list a few actors that could take his spot.
1. Ian Somerhalder
What's wrong with Somerhalder? He's a TV actor, and he's entirely overused in fan casts. What's right with Somerhalder? He's actually from Louisiana, he has a large fan base, he looks the part, and Fox could be responsible for making another career. The rights definitely outweigh the wrongs in Ian's case, and that's why he would make a good Gambit. It's very important that the actor playing Gambit can pull off the accent correctly (something Taylor Kitsch did not do), and with Somerhalder actually being from the same state as Gambit, that shouldn't be a problem. Do you need anymore convincing? This guy has all the requirements for this role.
2. Josh Holloway
Not only did Josh Holloway give a believable Southern accent as Sawyer on Lost, but he has the look for Gambit too. Yes, some would argue that he's too old, but he truly is the whole package. He has the accent, the look, and the acting skills to play this role. Sure, Josh has had it pretty rough the last couple of years when it comes to his career, but can't that all change? I know I wouldn't mind the washed-up old Holloway being the newest mutant added to the X-Men, would you?
3. Jared Padalecki
Yes, I'm using a lot of TV actors, quit your whining Internet. Jared Padalecki not only has the look and kind of build they were looking for Tatum's Gambit, but he was born and raised in Texas, and if I'm not mistaken has a slight Southern draw already. It's not hard imagining Jared with a full-on Cajun accent, and he certainly has all the credentials for this role. Just don't let Supernatural get in the way this time, Ok?
4. Norman Reedus
Somewhere in the comments I'm going to hear, "nurmen redas iz way to old for gambet, ur n idiet." Well, imaginary Internet troll, you might be right, but let me make my case. Reedus was born in Florida, does such convincing accent work that everyone thought he was Irish after watching The Boondock Saints, and has the perfect look for Gambit. Yes, he's another popular TV actor, and yes age could be a problem, but wouldn't you give him a chance? His accent as Daryl Dixon is uncanny, he's just waiting to break out as a big movie star, and he was practically born to play this role!
5. Matt Bomer
Matt Bomer is the first actor on this list I'm taking a real chance on. It's a stretch to say that Matt would be able to pull off a Cajun accent, but he also has a look that favors more towards Taylor Kitsch's Gambit. While he does have the look however, he's never done anything like this before, and being thrown right into a stand-alone movie could be bad news for him. Of course, all actors look for diversity and tough roles to take on, but do we want to chance it? Bomer has the potential to give us a good movie, but at the same time it could ruin it and his career. Hopes are high it's the first option.
6. Kit Harington
Kit Harington is the second actor on this list I'm taking a chance on. While he does have the look going for him, that's really the only thing. Harington hasn't been able to show of any diversity as an actor yet in his career, and it could be difficult for him to loose his accent (and gain another). I do believe, however, that Harington could give us a Gambit we would love to see, and hopefully want more of.
7. Ewan McGregor
Ah, I can hear the sound of angry keyboard chatter now. Say what you want about McGregor, his career, the Star Wars prequel trilogy, and my mother, but I think he could be a believable Gambit. He had a very well done Southern accent in Big Fish, with a little make-up and a trainer he could have the look, and he's not even the oldest person on this list, which I myself would not have guessed if I wasn't writing it. Of course, this is a very left field choice, and Fox would never choose Ewan as their next big endeavor, but a man can dream.
8. Jared Leto
Don't think about the Jared Leto that looks like Jesus, and don't think about the Jared Leto that's playing the Joker. Think about the Jared Leto in the above picture (with a less ridiculous haircut). That Jared Leto could nail Gambit, and is so talented that he could probably come right out with a convincing accent. If it wasn't for possible contract issues with DC, this guy would be number one on Fox's most wanted list. Even still, it's possible, right?
9. Tom Hardy
I have never once used Tom Hardy in a fan cast, but I think that out of all the characters the Internet has elected him to play, Gambit is his best bet. I feel as if Hardy could give a Gambit better resembling what they were going for with Tatum. He's very muscular, he shares a likeness with Channing, and he does different accents quite often. I'm sure there's not going to be much argument about this choice, so I'm just going to move on.
10. Ben Barnes
Yes, I finally picked someone more in the proper age group. Better late than never, right? Ben Barnes just screams Gambit, and he's not too big/small of an actor for this role either. Of course Fox would like an A-Lister like Tatum or Hardy, but Barnes is relatively well known and could give a good performance. I'm not sure how he is with accents, but he could always get training, and I'm willing to risk a bad accent with someone who looks this much like Gambit.
What did you think? Do you have an actor that could play Gambit? Let me know in the comments!