Casting for Gambit is heating up…again. The Marvel Comics adaptation has been in the works since 2015, at which point 20th Century Fox cast Channing Tatum in the lead role and also signed the performer to produce. The film progressed with Rise of the Planet of the Apes filmmaker Rupert Wyatt directing, but Wyatt subsequently dropped out, at which point Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) took over. The film got delayed so more work could be done on the script, and Liman left the director’s chair earlier this year. Cut to last month when Gambit finally started gaining traction once more, with Pirates of the Caribbean and A Cure for Wellness filmmaker Gore Verbinski signing on to direct.
And you know what, this movie might actually happen. Per Variety, Lizzy Caplan is now in talks to join the cast of the superhero film, playing the female lead. Further details on the role are under wraps, but back when Wyatt was directing Lea Seydoux (Blue Is the Warmest Color) became attached in the role of Belladonna Bourdreaux, who in the comics is Gambit’s love interest and also a member of the Assassins’ Guild. But that was over two years ago and no doubt the script has evolved, so it’s unclear if Caplan is playing Bourdreaux or someone else entirely.
I like this casting a lot. Caplan is a terrific actress adept at both comedy and drama, showing off her skills in films like The Night Before and The Interview, not to mention a co-starring turn on the Showtime series Masters of Sex. And while her role is under wraps, it’d be kinda neat if it turned out she was playing, I dunno, Rogue, and the X-Men timeline continuity went out the window altogether.
Producer Simon Kinberg described Gambit as a “heist movie” and a “sexy thriller” back in 2015, but again it’s unclear how the project has evolved since. Verbinski is a wildly ambitious filmmaker with a knack for insane visuals and compelling characters, so I trust the guy inherently to make something engrossing and unique. Between Logan, Deadpool, and the upcoming The New Mutants Fox has showed a willingness to let its X-Men movies stand apart as distinct, unique feature films in and of themselves as of late, and one imagines that will extend to giving Verbinski a long leash on Gambit.
Expect more casting news soon as it looks like this Gambit movie is moving ahead. Unless the director leaves again…