Channing Tatum’s Gambit Movie Rising from Production Hell… Slowly…

Stuck in perpetual development limbo, Channing Tatum’s dream project based on the X-Men character Gambit may be coming sooner than we think.


An exclusive from Splash Report reveals the much anticipated film, which Tatum confirmed this September was in active rewrites and is set to follow the success of Deadpool (2016) and Logan (2017), is actually a heist film from their details on the script.

Remy Lebeau (Channing Tatum) is on trial in New Orleans. He’s considered a huge security risk. We flashback to almost 25 years before. Master thief Luke Lebeau runs into eight-year-old Gambit while doing a heist. Impressed by his skills, he offers to take the mutant orphan under his wings. Raised alongside other strays he calls “cousins”, the teenage Gambit becomes the superstar of the Thief Guild.

He encounters Bella Donna Boudreaux while on the run from the police. Sparks immediately fly since Bella is also a fellow mutant. Their love is directly prohibited by both families since the Boudreaux are sworn enemies of the Lebeau clan. Deciding to unite the two sides, Remy offers to have the two clans team up on a HUGE heist to profit both families. Of course, the whole plan goes awry, and in the chaos, Maryanne Boudreaux shoots and kill Luke Lebeau.

We jump to 10 years later; Gambit is hired to do a job in Paris to steal something from the Louvre Museum. It was apparently a test job to see if he still has it. His mysterious employer is revealed to be Nathaniel Essex a.k.a. Mr. Sinister.

He offers Gambit 40 million to recover a mysterious trunk that was stolen by the Boudreaux clan. It will be auctioned off during the yearly Thieves Ball where all the criminal organizations in the world meet up. It uses New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations as a cover. Gambit decides to enlist a crew of mutants to pull off this seemingly impossible heist.

Splash Report goes on to claim the film will feature numerous X-Men characters, similar to the involvement of Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead in 2015’s Deadpool.

If they’re to be believed, we should see the arrangement of Dani Moonstar, Multiple Man, Rictor, Fifolet, as well as “a cameo from a blue X-Men regular”.

We’re looking at you, Beast, Nightcrawler, or Mystique!

In August 2015, Deadline Hollywood reported that Lea Seydoux (Spectre) has been cast as BellaDonna Boudreaux.

It goes without saying that by considering these rumours, paired with such a muddle of a production that’s taken Fox this long just to get to the rewrite stage, it should all be taken very lightly.

In fact, it was three years ago when it was announced that Channing Tatum was in talks to play Gambit, and appeared at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con next to Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, and Jennifer Lawrence.

Producer Lauren Shuler Donner at the time confirming Tatum would be the star of his own solo film and appear in Bryan Singer’s X-Men Apocalypse (2016).

Look at how that turned out.

Not even a Tatum in sight.

Then consider the directorial issues.

We’ve combed through a lot of names since Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) director Rupert Wyatt left the project due to “scheduling conflicts”, despite his last directorial effort being one episode of The Exorcist TV series and his 2018 film Captive State.

The vacancy seat was offered to names such as Edge of Tomorrow’s (2014) Doug Liman, Darren Aronofsky, Bennett Miller, Joe Cornish, Gareth Evans, J. C. Chandor, Shane Black, and yet all of them have turned the project down.

The only name brought up since last December being Shawshank’s own Frank Darabont.

I echo Splash Reports words that “it’s a bizarre project” that one could compare to Ocean’s 11 (2001), or even this year’s Logan Lucky, which saw a hillbilly Channing Tatum take on the NASCAR heist of a life time (see my review here).

After all, Gambit is a classic anti-hero with a southern edge, without the try-hard humour of a Deadpool or the overtly gritty approach of Wolverine.

A perfect mix of the two, you could say.

But whether we’ll get to see that mix in this decade is the real question.

Bailey T. Steen is a journalist, editor, artist and film critic based in Victoria, Australia. To support this content, and more to come like it, the options include Patreon and Paypal, where I hope to keep this content free.

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