“There are only conversations and dreams right now, really,” Channing Tatum said in June of this year about 20th Century Fox’s proposed “Gambit” movie, a stand-alone “X-Men” film he would star in. “Creatively, we’re starting to chug forward. Obviously there’s nothing official.” Well, a lot can change in a few months, especially when Marvel and Warner Brothers are planning dozens of films over the next six years, and a studio like Fox wants to stay in this escalating arms race of superhero movies.
So “Gambit” is less of a pipe dream now, and is moving forward. Deadline reports that Joshua Zetumer has been hired to write the screenplay. Zetumer is an interesting figure in Hollywood. He only has one produced credit to his name, the recent “RoboCop” remake, however he’s an extremely hot screenwriter that’s very much in demand. He wrote a version of “Bourne 4” for Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon that never got made. He wrote Peter Berg‘s unproduced “Dune” remake that fell apart before it could get the green light, and he has several projects in development, including a wilderness thriller for David Slade (“Villain”), a spy thriller franchise for Universal not unlike the ‘Bourne’ script he wrote, “The Infiltrator” for Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way productions, and a script called “Vale” for Warner Bros. It’s a great example of having a burgeoning career in Hollywood despite few actual credits to your name.
While the storyline is being kept under wraps, the “Gambit” screenplay is based on a treatment penned by seminal Marvel Comics writer Chris Claremont, who created the character with Jim Lee in the early 1990s. From Louisiana, with a thick Cajun accent, Gambit has the mutant ability to mentally control and manipulate pure kinetic energy and is known for his card-throwing skills. Taylor Kitsch played the character in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” but that movie was so poorly received that the studio clearly wants to start over.
No release date has been set, though the character may be introduced in 2016’s “X-Men: Apocalypse.”