White, male “hustlers” and “womanizers” are all the rage right now, so 20th Century Fox’s Marvel Comics producer Simon Kinberg is going to double down on the trend by accentuating those aspects of the Cajun X-Men team member Gambit in the long-in-development solo film. Rather than focus on, say, the character’s troubled history with the thieves’ guild, his conflicts with the assassins’ guild and Mr. Sinister, his fan-favorite and earnest romantic relationship with fellow X-Men member Rogue, or his mutant heritage that sets him apart as a minority, Gambit will now have a “romantic or sex comedy vibe.”
Kinberg said as much in a recent chat with IGN. It falls to Channing Tatum to not only bring the mutant to life on the big screen for only the second time in Fox’s Marvel projects history, but to channel his best Magic Mike performances once more. Make no mistake, this is the Deadpool effect in action; the studio seems to be taking the success of the fourth wall-breaking anti-hero and applying it to their other Marvel properties. Gambit is a ladies’ man, so his story has to be a romantic comedy, just like Logan was a gritty Western and New Mutants is undergoing reshoots to play up its horror angle, as Kinberg also confirmed. So far, the plan has worked, but I’m most skeptical about using this particular approach for Gambit.
Here’s how Kinberg defended the take:
“When you look at Gambit, he’s a hustler and a womanizer and we just felt like there was an attitude, a swagger to him, that lent itself to romantic comedy.”
Hilarious. He continued.
“You know, when I say romantic comedy, I use that term loosely, in the same term that I use the term western for Logan loosely. It’s not like they’re gunslingers at high noon in Logan. It’s just a vibe. And I would say the vibe of Gambit has a romantic or sex comedy vibe to it. While it is also still very much a superhero movie with villains and heroes, as all these movies are.”
While it all sounds half-baked and lazy to me, Kinberg did write Mr. & Mrs. Smith so hopefully there’s some of that “romantic action comedy” spirit influencing Gambit. (However, he also wrote Jumper, X-Men: The Last Stand, the recent Fantastic Four reboot and X-Men: Apocalypse so … yeah.) We’ll see how the writer-producer transitions over to directing when his feature directorial debut Dark Phoenix finally arrives February 14, 2019.
Kinberg finished with an update on the production schedules for both Gambit and X-Force:
“Gambit has a great script and we’re looking to start that movie early next year. Multiple Man, that script’s being worked on right now. [As for X-Force,] we’re just waiting for Drew Goddard to be done with releasing his film that comes out in a few weeks, and then he’ll get started on that script to direct.”
Stay tuned for more from our own chat with Kinberg in the days ahead.