A Gambit movie was supposed to be released in October 2016. However, once Gore Verbinski walked away from the feature due to scheduling conflicts then the chances of the X-Men movie going into production were seemingly slim, with Channing Tatum himself confirming the news that a Gambit movie wouldn’t be released anytime soon. The Marvel villain first made his debut in The Uncanny X-Men Annual #14 in July 1990 and The Uncanny X-Men #266 a month later. While not particularly the main villain like Magneto or Mystique, Gambit has played a solid role when it comes to comics and animation; however, he’s never been the focal point as Remy LeBeau has mainly been a minor character in the larger world of X-Men. Thus far, he’s only been in one live-action movie, which is the critically lambasted X-Men: Origins: Wolverine, played by actor Taylor Kitsch (John Carter, Battleship). When you consider the overall role of the X-Men bad guy, is a Gambit movie really necessary?
Well, no…and yes. In the larger scope of the X-Men universe, there’s not a need for him whatsoever. Gambit is an interesting character, but he’s simply there to represent a different type of mutant in the X-Men world. However, we also didn’t need Deadpool in the X-Men canon and look at the wonders that the franchise has done for adult comic book movies in general. In reality, R-rated comic superhero features were extremely scarce in the mainstream. Sin City and 300 were surprising financial successes, but Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and 300: Rise of an Empire bombed, and the underrated Watchmen feature likely scared studios from ever making another R-rated superhero picture. Deadpool helped revived the genre because it allowed superheroes to expand in diversity and showcased that R-rated features could be a big success at the box office as well. Movies like Logan or Joker likely wouldn’t exist (or at least be R-rated) had it not been for the success of Deadpool.
Gambit doesn’t need to be an R-rated gorefest, but the way the X-Men picture can help is by opening up the world entirely. One of the core problems with Fox’s X-Men is that the focus was mainly on Wolverine, Charles Xavier (Professor X), and Magento. The films may have been a box office success, but this closed off any chance of telling stories outside of the core three characters. If you never watched the cartoons or read the comics, then you would likely think Rogue, Storm, Cyclops, and the dozens of other mutants presented in the live-action film were nothing more than sidekicks without much depth. Gambit doesn’t particularly have the most interesting story compared to several of the main mutants; however, we’ve yet to get a feature film that showcases a villains side of growing up in the mutant world.
Remy LeBeau’s original origin story is an intriguing one. He was kidnapped as a kid and raised by the LeBeau Clan Thieves’ Guild, basically being raised in a place full of con artists and liars. Normal humans hate mutants, and though we understand from the heroes perspective why, it would be nice to expand on that from the villain side. Has Gambit’s criminal activities contributed to the humans distrust in mutants? What the hell is the LeBeau Clan Thieves’ Guild? How does Gambit tie into the larger universe overall? Obviously, there’s a stronger theme at play here, but the feature shouldn’t focus on tying loose ends from the previous movies, but give a better view on what exactly a villain’s place is in the X-Men world. To be honest, Disney likely doesn’t have much interest in making a Gambit film right now because he’s simply not a hot commodity. It would’ve been great for the popular X-Men villain to get his own film like Deadpool, but there’s just no buzz for it. The X-Men is on limbo right now as Disney is still trying to figure out how to introduce them into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It appears that may change once Doctor Strange: The Multiverse of Madness arrives, but nothing is official.
Gambit can work. If a solo feature is done right, then it opens up pandora’s box to more character driven X-Men movies. There’s too much rich material for the X-Men roster to wasted like it has been. Gambit may not be a major player in the overall X-Men universe, but he could play a crucial role in what happens to X-Men features going forward.