March 29, 2014

Gambit And Nightcrawler Teased For 80s-Set X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, Will Channing Tatum Play Gambit?

While speaking to CinePremiere (via ScreenRant) Singer confirmed X-Men: Apocalypse would be set sometime in the 1980's, which is a little further into the future than we were expecting. The reasoning behind it is that Bryan wants to include characters like Gambit and Nightcrawler (we assume others such as Cyclops, Jean and Storm would also be on the table as showing-up). The pair of X-Men would be around in that timeline, which would make them somewhere in their mid-late 20s or early 30s (if Nightcrawler was born in the 60's). Depending on how Singer approaches Nightcrawler in the end, as the film's script is still being developed/written.

“I’m considering a Gambit and potentially a young Nightcrawler for Apocalypse. [We were] going to have to Nightcrawler [in Days of Future Past] and even wrote a scene, but I felt that we were forcing too mutants known history.”

Louisiana actor Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street, This Is The End, White House Down, Magic Mike 1-2, Haywire, Jupiter Ascending, Foxcatcher, Lego Movie) has already been campaigning for the Gambit role (via SlashFilm), and Lauren Shuler Donner has gone as far to hint new talk of a Gambit movie. She even seemed excited on the prospective of Channing in the role. His film Foxcatcher is expected to gather a lot of awards talk, which could ease fans apprehension of casting him in the role.

“I would like to play Gambit. Gambit’s my favorite. I’m from New Orleans, around that area. My dad’s from New Orleans, and I like to do a Cajun accent. I could do it for real. No knock on Taylor Kitsch [who played the character in 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine'], though, ’cause I actually like his Gambit, but I’ve always lived around Cajun people. [...] Gambit was always like the woman-loving, cigarette-smoking, drinking [guy]. He was the punk rock of all the superheroes. He’s a thief. He kind of rode the line.”

At one point the X-Men franchise producer was actively considering a Gambit film, but after the poor reception of Origins, that talk quickly slowed down. I assume even more so when Taylor Kitsch, ended up leading two massive box office bombs (John Carter and Battleship), the negative stigma that actor brings to the table might be the reason they never brought him back. Along with Matthew Vaughn/Bryan Singer's timeline update clean-up via First Class and Days of Future Past. Lauren's recent quotes to Empire give the impressive the studio could consider Channing's offer, which could lead to a spin-off feature. We already know that a mystery Marvel film is set for release in 2018 (July 13th) at Fox, it's possible the Gambit film could be the mystery project. Given that X-Force will likely happen before 2018, Jeff Wadlow's script has a completed draft.

"I'm dying to do a Gambit movie with Channing Tatum," Shuler Donner reveals. "That doesn't have to be a great big movie. It's a thief in New Orleans, it's a whole different story. He's on board, and I have to get the studio on board. How can anyone resist Channing? He's such a sweetheart."

While we sort of have an idea of where Fox might go with casting with Gambit, but they haven't really mentioned names for Nightcrawler. It's safe to say they'll be recasting Alan Cummings for the role. Since the teleporting offspring of Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) would be a lot younger than he was in the 2002 film.

I know that Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter, Dredd, Never Let Me Go, True Grit, Frank, Ex Machina, Unbroken, Anna Karenina) has been mentioned for a role (possibly Dr. Doom) in Fox's Fantastic Four, but if that doesn't pan-out he'd make a solid Nightcrawler. It doesn't hurt he just worked with Michael Fassbender (Magneto) in the punk-rock comedy Frank. That film, and Angelina Jolie's WWII bio-pic Unbroken are expected to be major award contenders in 2014-2015. We haven't really seen Fox make the attempt to cast awards caliber actors for actual X-Men.

Another solid actor in my opinion would be Ben Wishaw (Cloud Atlas, Skyfall, Bond 24, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Layer Cake, The Hour).

If Singer ends up going young for the role (a bit risky to the tone of the film), which makes sense since Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique is the character's mother. Game of Thrones actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright might be a good fit. He's been growing like a weed lately, by the time production comes-together he might be towering over the rest of the cast. My biggest problem with adding a teen into the lineup would lose the edge that has been established with Days of Future Past. Having characters that can be thrown into the fray without hesitation, might be a better move. At least until something like New Mutants comes around.

Should Gambit and Nightcrawler be apart of the sequel's lineup? Who would you want to see playing Nightcrawler? 

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