Last year, Gambit fans learned that their favourite Ragin’ Cajun would be played by Channing Tatum of 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike fame. Reaction to “Chambit” was mixed, with some approving of the Magic Mike abs of steel, while others could not accept that Tatum could pull off that sexy smoulder and je ne sais quoi that makes Gambit so irresistible. Writes our own Jamie Kingston:
“Fox is trying to capitalize on someone they see as a bankable star. And that works when your bankable star has more going for him than abs. Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen are bankable because they’re incredible talents with marvelous presence. Even Hugh Jackman, who gets the lion’s share of the camera time, is a great talent (he’d even be able to pull off X-Men: The Musical if Fox was willing to try it). Chambit, on the other hand, has little else going for him than … well, except a nice six-pack.”
Personally speaking, I have grown wary of pre-judging an actor before I see them in the given role, even if their resume isn’t all that impressive. Many actors—even unknowns—have proven themselves worthy of these beloved characters despite initial fandom disapproval. [Obligatory Heath Ledger as Joker reference goes here.] I have promised to give Alexandra Shipp a chance as the new Storm, and find myself strangely attracted to Batfleck, so I would have been willing to hold judgment on Tatum. But my opinion of the latter no longer matters since Tatum might not be tossing aces on the big screen after all. In a recent unconfirmed movie news, Tatum is stepping down from the role he’d been so passionate about, though he will apparently stay on as producer, which means the movie is still a go for now.
So, with the slate potentially clear, it’s time to turn our thoughts to recasting Remy LeBeau. Taylor Kitsch has already brought Gambit to the big screen in that Wolverine origin movie none of us want to talk about, and some fans were okay with it. But now that Tatum is out of the way and the door is open again, who would you like to see play the Ragin’ Cajun?
Wendy Browne: I’ve been binge watching Lost over the last little while, and have grown quite attached to Josh Holloway. His Sawyer is very much the rogue with a heart of sort of gold that just wants to be loved. That suits my idea of Gambit just fine.
Claire Napier: For the not-gonna-happen role of “total scuzzball with whom I envision romantic bliss for my fav rascally girl,” I pick Matt Robinson, circa 2003. Slade from The Tribe. I heard he was a fan-fucker back in the day, which is bad, but also … dat so Gambit, cher. Non?
Amber Love: Maybe because I’m hung up on the southern accents despite hating the show, I could probably cast several True Blood actors as Gambit. I thought Kitsch was near perfect, to be honest. I don’t care about Channing. But to replace him, Michael Raymond James or Sam Trammell if you’re going the traditional sexy white guy route.
Lela Gwenn: I want Michael Ealy. Cuz he’s pretty and charming and charming and charming. Did I mention charming?
I would also accept Aldis Hodge. Cuz accent.
Amanda Vail: I really want them to cast someone who’s not super well-known already. Handsome is great and all, but he doesn’t have to knock everyone back in their seats with dazzling good looks. We need someone who can sell himself with smooth charm no matter what kinds of straits he finds himself in. He needs to be able to deliver some humor with an edge of danger and sarcasm. We need Howard Charles.
Desiree Rodriguez: My roommate suggested Kit Harington, though I feel he might be a bit young. But honestly, at this point in the absolute mess—sorry Hugh Jackman—that is FOX’s X-Men franchise, does that really matter anymore? Harington’s not the worst possible choice, he’s popular, but still relatively unknown enough to be cheap for the studio to nab. Plus his Game of Thrones co-star, Sophie Turner, already plays the young Jean Grey, so he could have the connections. I know some women find him sexy and sensual—though all I can see is boring Jon Snow who did nothing—and he has great hair. Plus Remy’s build is slender, and sexy, the problem with Tatum—bless his Magic Mike soul—is that he was way too bulky. He’s sexy in a, whoa, abs and shoulders, kinda way. A lovable frat guy if you will. Not Remy at all.
I second the choice for Aldis Hodge as well. I mean look at that smoulder. Too bad FOX only knows how to minimize, ignore, or kill their characters of color. Oh and turn them evil.