Fox adds ‘Gambit’ to X-Men line-up, opens a can of worms about the movie timeline
It’s official! "Gambit" will be Fox’s tenth X-Men movie and it even has a date: October 7, 2016. Furthermore, we’ve gotten soft confirmation that Channing Tatum has been cast in the titular role via his Twitter account.
How do you say October 7, 2016 in Cajun?— Channing Tatum (@channingtatum) January 6, 2015
A quick perusal of IMDB also has Tatum making an appearance in "X-Men: Apocalypse," though in what capacity remains a mystery. Perhaps it is merely a cameo or the stinger to set up his spin-off. Regardless, Remy LeBeau being on hand and old enough to look like Channing Tatum for the 1983 showdown between humanity/mutants and Apocalypse raised my eyebrow. Exactly how the hell is this happening?
Comic book timelines are always a mess. It’s a fact of life, like death and taxes. But Gambit wasn’t even introduced into the X-Men lore until 1990. Which on its own is no big deal. The movies have played it fast and loose with corresponding their characters to the ages of their comic counterparts. So sure, Gambit could be born earlier. He doesn't HAVE to begrudgingly join the ranks of Xavier’s mutants because of Storm.
Except, what about Rogue?
"Days of Future Past" solidly sets Rogue in the future. In the 2000 film, she’s still a teenager, and based on Paquin’s cut scenes in "DOFP", nothing has changed her timeline. So while Rogue probably exists during "Apocalypse" it’s as a baby. But Gambit and Rogue are one of the two great love stories of the X-Men (the other being Jean Grey/Cyclops/Wolverine). Bryan Singer seems to have a great love for the X-Men universe. Would he really wipe away decades of Remy and Marie’s story? Is that why the movies have been trying to force feed audiences on the Rogue/Iceman relationship? Maybe.
Of course, there’s another option: we’re going to the alternate timeline. No one has clarified if Fox is doing the Apocalypse storyline or the AGE of Apocalypse storyline. In the comics, the latter happens after a botched attempt at fixing the future by changing the past results in Apocalypse taking over the world. The trousers of time split and two timelines are created. Perhaps Tatum-aged Gambit is from the cinematic universe equivalent of Earth-295. Perhaps "Apocalypse" cold opens in the yet another NEW dystopia created by the time fracture. Perhaps only Bishop (and, let’s be real, Wolverine) remember how things SHOULD be. That would open up all kind of possibilities. Will Gambit (and Jubilee) be running a group of thieves sticking it to Apocalypse’s reign? Perhaps.
Or perhaps Gambit is just another casualty in the reconfiguring of 50+ years of comic book lore into a sleek, efficient film narrative. Guess we’ll find out next year.