The X-Men movies are headed to Disney+ beginning next week. In the meantime, fans can enjoy an independent fan film starring the X-Men’s mutant thief, Gambit. Actor Nick Batemen uploaded to YouTube a short film he made with himself in the lead role as Gambit. Directed by Jensen Noen, the film also features a couple of other X-Men characters, including Ellen Hollman as Rogue and Anna Butkevych as Magik. There are even a couple of Iron Man easter eggs. The film’s plot sees Gambit forced into the highest-stakes poker game of his life by someone from his past bearing a grudge. You can watch the entire 20-minute movie above.
Gambit has appeared on the big screen before. Taylor Kitsch plays Remy LeBeau in the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Channing Tatum signed on to play Gambit in the character’s first solo movie. Tatum even showed up during the 20th Century Fox panel at San Diego Comic-Con wearing a Gambit shirt. The project never materialized, suffering a series of delays and director shakeups until eventually being lost to the sale of Fox to Disney. The post-credits scene of X-Men: Apocalypse, which teased the introduction of the villain Mister Sinister, was meant to set up Tatum’s debut as Gambit.
“We had a tease of it at the end of Apocalypse. The Essex Corp is something that you see in a tag at the end of Apocalypse,” X-Men movies producer Simon Kinberg said during a watch party for IGN. “We had talked about doing something with him, and I won’t get into the specifics of it since it’s no longer a 20th Century Fox property, and now it’s part of the MCU. I have no idea what the plan is. But Mister Sinister was going to be part of the Gambit movie starring Channing Tatum.”
Tatum has spoken in the past about why he loves Gambit. “There wasn’t a comic store, but the cartoon was on TV, and he was this cool Cajun guy,” Tatum said. “And he was the easiest person to play as a kid because you could just unscrew the broom handle, get a pack of cards and wrap a bandana around your head. We had a lot of fun throwing cards and trying to take our friends’ eyes out across the living room.
“He is just cool, man. He is one of the few superheroes that has an actual culture to him. He doesn’t talk like a vanilla American. He is from a specific geo-location, New Orleans, which is a really specific thing.”
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