X-Men Gambit Movie: What Could’ve Been

Ant-Man, Black Widow, Doctor Strange, Shang Chi — it seems like every superhero is or has already gotten a solo comic book movie these days. Welp, everyone except Gambit.

But here’s the surprising thing: Gambit has plenty of fanfare to warrant a spin-off movie, at least compared to the aforementioned characters. Think about it, he checks a lot of boxes in what’s necessary for another blockbuster Hollywood franchise from Marvel Studios.

He has uber cool powers (can create explosive kinetic energy). He’s a prominent member in one of Marvel’s premier series (X-Men). He has a relatable characteristic to the everyday person (a gambling habit not unlike the players you’d find browsing Sports Betting Sites). But most of all, he’s just flat-out cool.

So why is there no Gambit film adaption? Welp, Marvel did try numerous times. Heck, talks for a Gambit-centric movie have been ongoing since 2014 but it never materialized — and the chances it ever will don’t appear likely.

Honestly, that seven-year saga of on-again, off-again plans for a Gambit flick deserves a movie in itself. Believe us, it’s a complicated story that we’ll attempt to recap with all the known details about the failed movie. By the end of this, you’ll be left wondering “could have, should have.”

“X-Men Gambit and Rouge” by Marvel Comics is licensed under CC BY 3.0

No Director Ultimately Doomed The Project

There’s a good chance you know leading man Channing Tatum was tapped to play Gambit in the movie adaption. Fox Studios securing an A-list talent like Tatum was a critical step one in making the movie happen, but it missed terribly on step two — nabbing a director to actually create the movie.

Not one, not two, but three directors dropped the Gambit project after initially taking it on. The infamous list includes Rupert Wyatt, Doug Liman and Gore Verbinski. Each used the “scheduling conflict” excuse to drop from the project, which might be only half-true.

After Verbinski’s departure — only weeks before production was slated to begin in Gambit’s home of Louisiana — the project remained in limbo. That is until Disney acquired Fox Studios in 2019. Ever since then, Gambit’s movie fate has lied in the hands of the “Mouse”, which isn’t exactly promising.

Gambit Character Clashes With the Disney Brand

Look, we all know Disney prides itself on wholesome, family-friendly content. The thing is, Gambit doesn’t fit that mold whatsoever.

As we alluded to before, Gambit is a riverboat gambler. Some would even call him a “hustler” in that respect. He’s also a heartless womanizer.

Those less-than-family-friendly qualities at one time lead a movie producer to declare Gambit’s movie would be a romantic comedy. That film direction would be more in line with Deadpool and Logan (two rated-R movies), and less like Captain Marvel (as rated-PG as it gets).

Now, with Disney in full control of Marvel intellectual property, it’s tough to picture Gambit fitting into the Marvel cinematic universe, especially as a solo movie. This — more than anything else — is the reason a Gambit movie ever getting made is so low.

“X-Men Gambit” by Marvel Comics is licensed under CC BY 3.0

End Credit Scene Almost Set-Up Gambit Movie

Marvel movies are notorious for teasing follow-up storylines once the credits roll. Rumor has it the X-Men: Apocalypse after-credit scene was geared for a Gambit movie.

This detail was mentioned in passing by Apocalypse director Simon Kinberg. If you re-watch the scene, it ends with a tube dubbed “Weapon X” being placed into a briefcase labeled “Essex Corp.”

For those unfamiliar with the comics, that’s a reference to villain Mister Sinister, whose real name is Nathan Essex. He’s a scientist who toys with mutant DNA and uses it to gain his own superpowers, which explains the Weapon X tube shown in the movie.

Per Kinberg, Mister Sinister was slated to be Gambit’s enemy in the spin-off movie. The director mentioned the character was never fully cast — though, rumors linking actor John Hamm to the supervillain are rampant online.

Kinberg said nothing else aside from those details. However, it’s more than enough for comic fans to be left salivating at the Gambit-versus-Mister-Sinister dream fight that never was. And that’s where the “Rajun Cajun”, as Gambit is affectionately called, leaves off. What happens with his character onward is anyone’s guess.

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