Gambit has been a favorite among fans of the Marvel comic book universe since his first appearances in Uncanny X-Men Annual #14 and Uncanny X-Men #266, both published in 1990. Also known as Ragin’ Cajun, the good-streaked mutant rogue from New Orleans has stirred the hearts and imagination of many with his personality as much as his explosive card-slinging skills. Anticipation for the upcoming movie adaptation has been building with every update, whether related to a new juicy detail or another delay. Perhaps, its creators’ lengthy deliberation will result in an X-Men instalment to rival the public’s approval and box-office success of Deadpool and Logan. Good things come to those who wait, as they say, and it is hoped that this will be one such case.
The story of Remy LeBeau, Gambit’s real name, evolved into quite the extraordinary saga of romance and intrigue, desperation, darkness and redemption. Driven by awe and curiosity, the character’s inspired fans have striven to discuss or even emulate him. Tutorials on how to throw cards like Gambit exist throughout the internet in written and video form, often accompanying other magic tricks, a testament of the mystic persona he has adopted in people’s minds. The feature of cards as his weapon of choice, in addition to the complex and alluring characterization, not to mention his status as a master thief and highly powerful mutant, only makes him that much more interesting to explore.
Forums and communities dedicated to Gambit are full of active topics, providing things like insights into his conquests, scientific explanations as to why cards are better suited to his powers than knives or coins, and, of course, detailed dissections of his personality and how it has changed from book to book. Who does he really love, Rogue or Bella Donna Boudreaux? What has caused his turn from witty flirt to serious introvert? Does he even play cards? If, for example, he took this poker personality quiz, he could be the Bully, described as the confident, strategic player capable of reading and manipulating his opponents, but also adapting to them and the game. On the other hand, he could be the Maniac, making loud, bold moves to forward his own agenda, which would coincide with numerous questionable decisions he makes in the comics.
Then there is the movie. Concerns have been appeased regarding Channing Tatum and his potential to pull off Remy’s Cajun accent better than Taylor Kitsch did in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but the overall buzz, apart from when and who else, also debates how Gambit might be portrayed. Enthusiastic fans are keen to see their hero in all his deep, troubled, tantalising glory, a kind of dream that the X-men franchise has not always gotten right. With the release date being pushed back another year, the suspense will continue for Marvel audiences, the mystery sufficiently overshadowed by the string of superheroes returning to the big screen. If that fails to distract, practicing card throwing is not a bad pastime.
When the time comes, it will be interesting to see what perspective the producers will use to bring this intricate character to life. And we await to either praise or rave.