Coming Soon: Why GAMBIT is Worth the Wait

Gambit has been one of our favorite characters ever since he came to life back in the early 90s. This card-slinging thief extraordinaire from the streets of New Orleans is crackling with crime-fighting kinetic energy and sassy attitude. Unfortunately, his movie debut seems to have lost some of the fizzle his hands are so famous for. What gives? We know now that the movie will premiere on Valentine’s day in 2019. This oft-rescheduled film is something many X-Men fans have been waiting on for years, and there’s a reason nobody is giving up yet.

Caption: Marvel Comics have been all the rage for decades, and now fans have an opportunity to see one of their favorite characters star in his own movie.
Source: Pixabay

An Exercise in Filmmaking Tenacity

Gambit’s premiere has been pushed back since its announcement in 2014. There have been so many delays in the project that it has lost two directors, both Doug Liman and Rupert Wyatt. Fox, the various directors and Channing Tatum (the producer and star set to play Lebeau in the upcoming movie) have had conflicting views throughout the development of the film, causing further setbacks. An inability to find scriptwriters and a general shift in the paradigm of the entire series have also had their effect, says Tatum.

Source: MTV International

Tatum has been the only constant throughout the movie, and his dedication to the character and the series is probably one of the only reasons why the release date isn’t set into the distant 2020s. The delays have aggravated many fans, but they may just be a blessing in disguise.

Recent releases Deadpool and Logan have shown us a raw, rough and real side of the X-Men relatively unexplored within the previous movies. Current director Gore Verbinski is just the man to bring this to life for us, having aced such masterpieces as Pirates of the Caribbean and The Lone Ranger. Both movies demonstrate his prowess in revealing the jagged edges of a good protagonist, and realness is what we crave nowadays.

The Character That Speaks to Everyone

Remy was born in New Orleans, kidnapped from the hospital and raised by a clan of thieves before finally being adopted into the official Thieves Guild. His life was both strengthened and complicated by his apparent ability to charge objects with kinetic energy, effectively transforming him into a human explosive device. He has had many misadventures with his powers and various familial figures along the way before finally hooking up with the rest of the X-Men.

Caption: The card playing hero we all love, wearing a smile.
Source: Flickr

Everything we’ve seen so far points to a stand-up guy who has fallen into a rough-and-tumble lifestyle. Remy Lebeau is the kind of guy you want to have a beer with. If you didn’t know him well, you might even play a game of poker with him.

Mutant abilities aside, his character is just relatable. That’s why we need a Gambit movie. He is all of us: abandoned, cast aside, broken. As any fan worth his salt knows, Gambit is an avid gambler. (Poker is how he escaped the Stryker facility so long ago in Origins). He drinks, he swears, he doesn’t apologize.

Gambit’s entire character was inspired by the game of game of poker, and he may just be the best player in the world. His signature weapons include a deck of playing cards. Even his name (given to him by Stryker’s guards after he kept beating them at cards) is reminiscent of poker, which means an opening move or strategy put into play to attain one’s goals. We can see by his actions that he is a risk-taker, ready to put it all on the line for his own life and those that matter to him.

Why We Need a Little Gambit in Our Lives

Gambit isn’t afraid to take the calculated risks of a professional poker player, and that’s why fans love him — he’s so good at being bad. He uses poker, gambling and strategic risk-taking to forward his own agenda while still having fun and entertaining us fans.

Gambit is also destined to be one of those X-Men that shine. Wolverine showed us the power of a tortured mutant, one with strong morals but real appetites. Bringing in $370 million worldwide, it was a resounding success. That’s owed partly to Hugh Jackman’s flawless performance of a very flawed character.

Source: Fox Home Entertainment

Ryan Reynolds’ performance as Deadpool was an even bigger success, grossing nearly $780 million worldwide. Digital Trends recently released an article discussing whether Gambit would take on an “R” rating like Deadpool, something that contributed to the film’s success, which and something that Tatum is reportedly still on the fence about.

But Deadpool offered so much in the way of comic relief that we forgave it all the cursing. Or was it partly because of the cursing the comic relief worked so well? Either way, Tatum will draw on the success of that movie when making this one.

This works to our advantage as fans. The rise in popularity of trash talking, slightly morally ambiguous characters is reflective of our society and our shifting values. Gambit lives his entire life like he’s playing one long game of Texas Hold ‘Em. Lots of risks, lots of rewards, plenty of mistakes.

We need heroes that reflect every part of us because we are no longer the America of decades past. Our voices are varied, our weaknesses apparent, which is why we need Gambit.

What We Can Look Forward To

The plot of the upcoming Gambit movie is still largely unknown, though you can glean ideas from the comics. Rumors are flying like mosquitoes in a Louisiana swamp with regards to actors and guest appearances in the movie.

The female lead, Bella Donna Boudreaux, has not been cast yet — considerations have included Rebecca Ferguson, Lea Seydoux and Abbey Lee, though as of right now Lizzy Caplan is considering the role. Indeed, this X-Men movie is more shrouded in mystery than Marie LaVeau herself. Nobody seems to be saying much of anything regarding casting.

That may be a good thing, as we’ll be pleasantly surprised by the lineup. It’s sure to include a few old X-Men friends, though.

Caption: The rest of the X-Men waiting on Gambit to join them.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Not only do we have an awesome, mysterious storyline to be excited about, we also have this glorious $155 million budget. This means expectations will be high, especially with Deadpool’s relatively paltry budget of under $60 million and its overnight box-office success. Fans have waited since Gambit’s first appearance in the early 90s for a movie about him. He has soared in popularity over the years, and the base is ready to give him the glory he deserves — he just needs to get into theaters first.

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