Easily one of the most loved characters in the X-Men universe, Gambit is the character that fans have been dying to see on the big screen. He was present for the first solo movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but was maybe 20% of the character he could have been. John Carter star Taylor Kitsch got about ten minutes to show off Gambit’s powers and be somewhat charming, but he’s a watered down and boring version of the Cajun that we know.
Gambit’s history is just as rich as any of the other X-Men characters. From being stolen from the hospital he was born in and being raised as a thief on the streets of New Orleans to his professional thief career and charming ways with ladies, Gambit is the kind of archetype that new stories can be created for all the time by capable writers. Imagine an Ocean’s Eleven-style film with Gambit leading a troupe of thieves on a heist through New Orleans. The ambiance and vibe that city gives off is worth a lot in production values and a Gambit film could really play with the location better than a lot of films.
Making Gambit work on the big screen is easier said than done. What the filmmakers should do first is get the character’s mannerisms and voice right on the page and plant him in a story with the DNA of the comics. Think of him like James Bond from Louisiana and follow what James Asmus (current writer of the ongoing Gambit comic) said about the series – “the two most important aspects of Gambit: #1 he’s sexy, and #2 he’s the preeminent bad-ass thief of the Marvel Universe.” Unlike James Bond, I don’t think this character can resonate with audiences for 23 movies, so Fox should make it count.