We’ve been promised more spinoffs akin to X-Men Origins: Wolverine for a while now — hopefully the others will turn out better — but nothing has happened thus far. Wolverine’s origin story launched in 2009, and well… now it’s 2015, 6 years later.
The recent news that Channing Tatum will take on the role of Gambit in a spinoff film has us wondering, will this be an origin story for the character?
In case you haven’t heard, Tatum has been confirmed for the part. Gambit, as it’s being called, will be the third X-Men movie dropping in 2016 alongside X-Men: Apocalypse and Deadpool. Deadpool is the other spinoff that proves more of these standalone tales might be coming.
Who Is Gambit?
Gambit’s real name is Remy LeBeau and as his name suggests he has a pretty unique cajun accent — he’s from Louisiana and proud of it. His character first appeared in Origins: Wolverine played by Taylor Kitsch, but he was missing a lot of his renowned traits — like the accent.
As is canon in the X-Men world, Gambit is a mutant. He can control both kinetic and static energy through touch, which he mainly does with one of his signature weapons, a staff. He also uses playing cards, which he throws at enemies generously. His powers allow him to charge up various objects and materials, which then explode.
When he first joins up with the X-Men, many of them distrust him for his previous alignment with a thieves guild. The character Gambit also has a complicated on-again off-again relationship with Rogue. Although, in the movies we see Rogue with Iceman instead.
Of course, Gambit is also skilled in martial arts and persuasion. One thing we see him doing a lot in the comics is womanizing many female characters.
Gambit was created by Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, and Mike Collins, in Uncanny X-Men (issue #266) in the early 90’s. He wasn’t quite as popular or prominent when he first appeared in the comics. In the 90’s he also appeared in an animated TV series on Fox — X-Men — and that’s when he became a fan favorite.
Will ‘Gambit’ Be an Origin Story?
It’s difficult to say exactly what Gambit will be at this point. The previous cameo in X-Men Origins: Wolverine has been abandoned and Tatum is taking on the role. Hopefully, we’ll see a return to the character’s roots instead of the modernized version from Origins.
It would be interesting to see Gambit during his earlier days with the thieves guild and how he comes to be an X-Men member.
Tatum confirmed that this will be an origin story introducing us to the character, his motives and his powers. He also said that this could be handled “so many ways,” alluding that this might not fall into the same origin tropes we’ve come to know. Apparently the writer Josh Zetumer turned in the first draft of the movie’s script and Tatum says “it’s killer.”
“None of us were sure how [Josh Zetumer] was going to deal with the X-Men world. But we’re going to be changing some of the tropes of these movies. It’s always about saving the world, but maybe we’re going to shift things a little bit.”
Since Deadpool and Gambit are launching in 2016, it’s possible we’ll see both characters return for X-Men: Apocalypse in 2017.