There has been a lot of movement over at 20th Century Fox in regards to their X-Men cinematic universe that continues to blaze ahead in many surprising and inspired ways. Yet, no project can claim to be as unlikely as the Gambit film, which has managed to find new life over on the studio lot.
The upcoming X-Men spin-off movie still has Channing Tatum officially signed on as the lead, as well as in the role of producer on the movie. It’s equally encouraging that the film found a new director in Pirates of the Caribbean’s Gore Verbinski, following the musical chair departure of previous directors, Rupert Wyatt and Doug Liman. Last week the studio planted their flag with the announcement of a February 2019 release date, which signals that pre-production is firmly in motion and now we have obtained the latest on the development of Gambit.
A few days ago Omega Underground uncovered audition tapes for the Gambit movie, which is covertly going by its working title of Chess. The tapes seemed to indicate that the producers are looking to cast the female lead and Gambit’s love interest in the upcoming movie, Bella Donna Boudreaux. Back in 2015, the trades had reported that Léa Seydoux (Spectre) had won the role, but with a new director and script in tow, the role is currently being recast for the spin-off film. However, this was a clear indication that the casting process is moving full speed ahead, which was a impetus for further investigation.
Bella Donna isn’t the only role currently being cast and gotten some info that may shed a little more light on the direction of the picture. Casting for Gambit is steaming forward and we have gotten some timely character breakdowns that should give our best indication yet of what direction the production is moving in. As is usual, the true identity of the roles have been obscured with code names, so we simply gave our best guesses on who from the world of Marvel Comics may be joining the upcoming movie. Take a look:
[MARIYA] Female, Caucasian, mid 20s – early 30s. Must be 5’11’+. Tall, stunning and willowy, a Parisian glamour girl. Must speak fluent French or do a perfect French accent. ROLE REQUIRES SEQUEL OPTIONS.
This is clearly for the role of Bella Donna Boudreaux. She is the love interest and inspiration for Gambit in his younger years and their relationship has enough source material to fuel a trilogy on its own. In the comics, the character goes in some frightening and unexpected directions, which should keep audiences off guard.
[LEWIS] Male, any ethnicity, 40s-50s. Elegant and intelligent. An appealing entrepreneur with an unexpected dark side. ROLE REQUIRES SEQUEL OPTION.
According to Splash Report the role of Dr. Nathaniel Essex, aka Mr. Sinister, is Daniel Craig’s role to refuse. We haven’t gotten word on who else may be on the shortlist, however the inclusion of the character has the potential to change the entire complexion of the X-Men universe.
[NASH] Male, any ethnicity, mid 20s-early 30s. A potent threat. Heir to his mother’s business. Malevolent.
This role seems pretty straight forward, as it’s most likely Julien Boudreaux. He is the brother to Bella Donna, who comes into direct conflict with Gambit when he challenges the mutant to a deadly duel. During their confrontation, Gambit’s mutant power manifests which leads the future X-Men closer to his destiny.
[MAGNUS/WOLFGANG] Male, authentic French. 40s. A French criminal. Must speak fluent French.
This role could potentially be that of Bella Donna’s father, Marius Boudreaux, the one-time leader of the Assassin’s clan. He helped to engineer the arranged marriage between Remy and Bella Donna, which was meant to spur a truce between the Assassins and Thieves. The character is thinly sketched in the comics and would potentially have a small but pivotal role.
[FRITZ] Male, any ethnicity, 40s-50s. A professional thief. Charismatic con-artist. Warm hearted but untrustworthy. ROLE REQUIRES SEQUEL OPTION.
This role is a great fit for Gambit’s mentor and adopted father, Jean Luc LeBeau. The master thief found Remy as a young pickpocket on the streets of New Orleans and quickly took him under his wing as his own. Jean Luc is responsible for much of the flair that the future X-Men goes on to be known for, including a proclivity for trench coats, as well as training Remy with his trademark weapon, the bo staff.
[WESLEY] Male, any ethnicity, mid 20s-mid 30s. Aspirational but weak minded. Soulful and sensitive. ROLE REQUIRES SEQUEL OPTION.
This role seems to be a great fit for Emil Lapin. Lapin is a cousin and lifelong friend of Gambit, who is a master thief and one of the crew’s most capable engineers.
[BORIS] Male, mid-20s-30s, Hispanic. Tough, menacing, with a dangerous, craggy character face. ROLE REQUIRES SEQUEL OPTIONS.
From the description of the role, the production is seemingly searching for the next Edward James Olmos. If we are following the comic’s origin story, Boris could actually be the Pig, a mutant slave trader who comes into conflict with Gambit as a kid. It would seem that the Pig could also have direct connection to Mr. Sinister as well, judging by his line of work.
[JOE] Male, any ethnicity, 30-50 years old. We are looking for actors 5’6” and under. He’s a gun for hire. He is the black sheep of his family. Not from good breeding but from a working class family. Short. Puck-like, with an interesting character face. REQUIRES SEQUEL OPTIONS.
Could this actually be the infamous Puck from Alpha Flight? It’s unclear how interconnected the spin-off will be and if it will be opening the door to the Canadian superteam, however the description is very “inside baseball” and presumes that the casting director has in-depth comic knowledge. However, there are literally hundreds of characters that could fit that description.
[PIA] Female, Native American, early 20s. Street, tough, punk. ROLE REQUIRES SEQUEL OPTIONS.
Could this be the first crossover for the New Mutants? It would seem to be a good fit for Dani Moonstar and could also be a signal that the Gambit movie could have an edge to it. Actress Blu Hunt was heavily featured in the recent trailer for The New Mutants and her possible inclusion could help the interconnectivity of the next wave of Fox’s X-Men films. However, this is far from a lock.
[CARISSA]Female, mixed race, 10-12 years old. Ethereal and other-worldly. Very expressive. ROLE REQUIRES SEQUEL OPTION.
The role of Carissa seems sneakily similar to Candra, a mutant whose powers of telekinesis can actually awaken the mutant gene in individuals. If this is indeed that character, Candra has an important function in helping to realize certain characters’ potential in the storyline from the comics. However, it seems that they are casting young for the role, so she could be a reach.
Next we have a collection of roles that seem to fit directly into the conflict between the Assassin and Thieves’ Guild. Both warring guilds have a variety of supporting characters that are either friends or blood relatives of Gambit or Bella Donna, along with other mutants that weave their way into the narrative in the comics. So it would seem likely that characters such as Jacques LeBeau, Henri LeBeau, Etienne Marceaux, and Mercy LeBeau, all fit the roles being cast below.
[MRS. STANTON] Female, Caucasian, 50s. An elegant older woman with a French accent. Must speak fluent French.
Possibly the mother of Bella Donna and a de facto head of the Assassin’s Guild, who runs her criminal empire with her literal family of killers.
[WILHELM] Male, any ethnicity, 30s. Dangerous street criminal. Protective and loyal to his family. Intensely loyal and violent.
[GARY] Male, any ethnicity, mid 20s-early 30s. A little simple; dim-witted and passive.
[NONA] Female, any ethnicity, mid 20s-30 years old. Uptight, corporate, vicious, sexual. ROLE REQUIRES SEQUEL OPTION.
[FRANKLIN] Male, any ethnicity, 20s. An appealing street kid. ROLE REQUIRES SEQUEL OPTION.
[BEN] Male, any ethnicity, 20s. Just reaching adulthood. A street kid, a disaffected outsider, an orphan. ROLE REQUIRES SEQUEL OPTION.
[HOWARD] Male, Caucasian. 50s. A refined European mobster who speaks fluent French.
[VERA] Female, any ethnicity, mid 20s-early 30s. Beautiful, smart, tough, fiery and unpredictable. ROLE REQUIRES SEQUEL OPTION.
In the comics Remy LeBeau, aka Gambit, grew up a master thief in the New Orleans bayou. His origin story is a reworking of Romeo and Juliet, set against the seedy underworld of Assassins and Thieves. LeBeau gets involved with an heir to the Assassin’s Guild in an arranged marriage that sets a bloody war between the factions into motion. Splash Report previously reported that the film’s plot will also involve a huge heist that Gambit is forced to perform, due to the influence of Mr. Sinister. A mutant geneticist who has made his name by experimenting on mutant-kind and whose history intertwines with many popular X-Men.
However, even with all of this casting news, there still isn’t word on the tone or approach to Gambit. The success of Logan and Deadpool, along with the growing buzz for the unorthodox adaptation of The New Mutants has given Fox’s X-Men universe new life. Gambit’s story doesn’t need an Avengers’ level of scale and has the opportunity to operate on an emotional and dramatic level that other X-Men movies might not have lent themselves to in the past. With the film’s release date set just a little over a year away, we will be sure to bring you much more on Gambit.
Gambit is set for release on February 14th, 2019.
Source: That Hashtag Show
Art by: BossLogic