20th Century Fox wants the world to know that they’ve not forgotten about card-trickster, Gambit. They might not be announcing a nine-film plan with crossovers more tangled than a box of Christmas lights, but they’ve officially revealed that Channing Tatum will lead the X-Men spinoff with Josh Zetumer onboard to pen the first draft.
Tatum’s name has been linked to Gambit for some time now, as the actor first showed interest in the role over a year ago. While today verifies his involvement, he spoke out earlier this month on the direction the story will take, implying it will be a unique origin story.
Now we’ve learned who will be tasked with bringing that tale to light, as Fox has hired RoboCop scribe Josh Zetumer to pen the screenplay. With only one feature to his name, Zetumer might be considered a risky move, but it seems the studio trust he’ll do a stellar job of rebooting the fan favourite. Zetumer’s screenplay will be based on an original treatment from Marvel comics writer Chris Claremont. Together with Stan Lee, he created the character – real name Remy LaBeau – back in the 1960s.
Considering that one-half of Gambit’s original creators is directly involved with his next big-screen appearance, the prospects for the mutant grifter are very good. After his short sequence in 2009’s lacklustre X-Men Origins: Wolverine, in which he was played by Taylor Kitsch, audiences were impressed by the character. In fact, despite its negative reviews and poor box office performance, the spinoff prequel has now spawned two of its own standalone movies; Gambit and Deadpool.
As Fox are in pre-production on the next X-Men feature, X-Men: Apocalypse, could this mean we might see an early cameo from Tatum’s Gambit possibly in a post-credits sequence? Now that he’s officially on the team, we’d say the chances for that are looking pretty good.