Why Fox Should Put Gambit Out Of Its Misery

In early 2016, Fox announced its planned Gambit movie as suddenly unplanned, removing it from the studio's ever-widening calendar and replacing it with two unnamed projects. This isn't a good sign for poor Remy LeBeau's feature debut—how bad of an idea must the movie have been to get replaced by literally nothing? At this point, we're thinking Gambit should get shuffled out of the deck forever, and here's why.

His entire character would be watered down

Studio heads are notoriously squeamish about casting a scoundrel as their film's main hero, and Gambit is as scoundrel-y as they come. He was raised by thieves and assassins, for one thing, and very much remains one at heart. When briefly kicked out of the X-Men during the "Books of Truth" storyline, Gambit went right back to thievery, proving that the only reason he doesn't do that every day is because being in the X-Men keeps him busy. Then you've got his creepily charming ladykiller side, which, in today's world, probably won't fly with many mainstream moviegoers. Even when Channing Tatum does it.

And don't point to Deadpool's massive success as proof Hollywood is loosening its tie. That movie took 11 years and most likely a lot of compromises by Ryan Reynolds to get approved in the first place. Despite its massive success, movie execs simply prefer to default to a safe, kid-friendly PG-13, something the best version of Gambit absolutely is not.

He's simply not popular enough for a solo venture

Gambit's popular with X-Men fans, but outside of that...not so much. The typical popcorn muncher knows of the truly iconic superheroes—Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Wolverine—and will happily get behind solo shots featuring them. But Gambit? He's a second-tier mutant at best, with a reputation as a supporting cast member that'd be awful hard to overcome. Non-comic fans might remember Gambit from the early-90s X-Men cartoon, and might even remember him fondly, but that's not enough to convince millions of movie fans that he deserves 150 minutes about him. Honestly, nostalgia for the cartoon could be used to justify a Jubilee film, and we know that ain't gonna happen.

You might point out that Ant-Man succeeded despite having the same problem—seriously, who outside of hardcore Marvel fans knew anything about Ant-Man? But that argument doesn't work either. Ant-Man is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and one (literally) small cog in a much larger story. Even if a moviegoer didn't care much about Ant-Man, they were likely compelled to see it simply because skipping it would be like skipping a chapter in a novel. You might still enjoy the book, but you're going to miss a lot, and when stuff from that chapter shows up later (in this case, Ant-Man appearing in Civil War), you're going to be extra confused. The X-Men universe, on the other hand, has been rebooted and screwed with enough that skipping the Gambit chapter won't cause you to miss much of anything.

He's too gimmicky

One of the reasons Gambit isn't as popular as Wolverine or even professional stick-in-the-mud Cyclops is that he's more of a gimmick than a character. Like, he's Cajun, so of course he speaks with the most stereotypically Cajun accent possible, which is honestly just comedic. Imagine if Wolverine (a Canadian) started walking around calling everyone a hoser and peppering his sentences with "ey." Same thing. Plus, the whole "Gambit" thing just seems too...on the nose. He fights with playing cards, so he's called Gambit. That's like if Peter Parker grew eight legs and shot webs out of his butt when he became Spider-Man.

Plus, while it's not like he bases everything he does around cards and gambling (otherwise, he'd probably be called "Pokerface"). The "thief-with-cards" motif is enough that Fox would almost certainly want it minimized—or removed entirely—in favor of winning over as large an audience as possible. After all, look at what happened with Rogue. Her "southern belle" gimmick defined her for years, until the movies came along and turned her into....a regular girl. No "y'all," no "shugah," no nothing. But she's more relatable to the mainstream now, and sadly that's what would have to happen to Gambit before he even began to film his own movie.

His love interest is already spoken for

While we're on the subject, a huge part of Gambit's character is how he and Rogue fancy each other something fierce. Two ridiculously good-looking southerners talking all smooth and sexy to one another (or one putting the other into a coma, as Rogue is wont to do with anyone she touches)—what's not to love? The only problem is that, as far as movie people are concerned, there is no Rogue and Gambit. There is only Rogue and Wolverine, a decision a screenwriter made years ago because shut up that's why. They're kind of a big-deal power couple, if for no other reason than everything Wolverine touches turns to box-office gold. So, how do you think non-Gambit fans would react to this weird card-crazy Louisianian randomly stepping on their beloved Logan's turf? Not very well, probably. Either Gambit would need a new lover (Psylocke's single) or go through the entire movie romancing every woman in sight. We're guessing Tatum would be fine with the latter option. Not sure if 20th Century Fox would be.

Negasonic Teenage Warhead stole his "charging stuff" thunder

Ultimately, if Gambit had any hope of being a major movie character, Deadpool murdered that hope dead. Or rather, Negasonic Teenage Warhead did. See, Gambit's main power is to charge stuff up with destructive energy and then throw it at whoever he wants to hurt. He typically charges up small things, like playing cards and his staff, as large heavy things take much more effort to charge. Meanwhile, you've got Negasonic, who sees his charge-stuff power and raises him one better: she charges herself up, with very little effort, and can send just about anything flying in the other direction once she rams into it. Plus, if she needs to move something bigger (like a car or Deadpool on a slab of concrete), she only requires a bit more time and effort to charge herself up sufficiently.

In short, Gambit's sole reason to possibly become a movie star has been co-opted by a Twitter-obsessed Moody Teen who does it better, and our movies are so much better for it. Sorry, Cajun. Have fun chilling at the X-Mansion, trying in vain to cheat Beast at Three-Card Monte.