Why We're Worried About The New Gambit Movie

So far Wolverine has been the only X-Man to star in his own stand-alone movies (X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Wolverine), but that all changes in 2016 when Channing Tatum takes on the role of Gambit in a solo adventure directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of The Planet of The Apes). And if you're already wondering who Gambit is, that's just the tip of the iceberg of why we're worried about his first solo outing, even if it does star Magic Mike.

Gambit Is No Wolverine

Before Bryan Singer's first X-Men hit theaters, most theatergoers didn't even have a clue who Wolverine was, unless they were die-hard comic fans. It took Hugh Jackman's career-making performances in three X-Men movies before Wolverine landed his first solo film, and a ton of digital ink has been spilled over how disastrous that turned out, despite starring the most popular and recognizable character in the entire X-Men franchise. Gambit has none of that going for him. Best case scenario, a few might remember him from the early '90s X-Men cartoon, and even then there's not much to remember: He wore a trench coat, threw exploding playing cards, and had a funny accent.

Gambit Was Already In An X-Men Movie And Nobody Cared

Most people have already forgotten – if they even noticed in the first place – that Taylor Kitsch already played Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine to unremarkable results. (To prove this point, walk up to someone and ask them who Tim Riggins played in that one Wolverine movie. We'll wait.) And here's where things get cross-eyed: Should they remember Taylor Kitsch's performance, audiences now have to reconcile that Kitsch's Gambit never even met Hugh Jackman's Wolverine thanks to the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past resetting the entire franchise. Which apparently causes people to turn into Channing Tatum, and if you're already confused – and you should be – welcome to the juggling act this movie has to deal with right out of the gate.

Gambit Is A Vanity Project For Channing Tatum

A solo Gambit movie only recently came into being thanks to Channing Tatum repeatedly saying in interviews that his favorite superhero as a kid was Gambit, and he'd do anything to play him in a movie. There was no groundwork laid, or even a story in mind, just producers jumping at the chance to have Channing Tatum's name on a project. Which sounds well and good considering his box-office success with the 21 Jump Street movies, but Channing Tatum's turns in genre films have not gone well. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was a lambasted disaster that Channing regretted starring in and asked to be killed off in the sequel. The Eagle is a movie maybe two people know exists. And Jupiter Ascending, Channing Tatum's latest with the Watchowski siblings, was a box-office failure and such a convoluted mess that Channing has already admitted in interviews that even he doesn't know what the movie was about, despite personally signing onto the film to work with The Watchowskis. It's not the greatest track record. 

X-Men Fatigue

By the time Gambit hits in October 2016, two full-length X-Men movies will have already been in theaters: Deadpool in February and X-Men: Apocalypse in May. Will audiences really want to see a third movie about mutants within months of each other? Not even the Marvel Cinematic Universe has released three movies in one year, and there are already concerns about an increasing over-abundance of superhero films. This probably isn't going to help.