When Gambit was shunted out of its initially announced release date, it was assumed that all was not well on the production. Delays, after all, often mean that the studio is struggling with the project, or that there are creative issues behind the scenes. But according to Simon Kinberg, there's nothing to be concerned about.
The producer told Flickering Myth that the decision was made as a positive opportunity to make sure the film's tone was right, and admitted that the script isn't actually ready yet:
"Weve got to get the script right. We just didnt get the script to the place where we all thought the movie deserved. So were still working on the script. Were very close, actually, to being done with the script. And the hope is that Channing has a couple of movies he has to shoot, but that we would shoot at the end of this year, or the beginning of next year.
Its looking really good. Im not going to say anything about it content-wise. I think one of the things that Ive learnt on all these movies and maybe the lesson was best learned for me on Deadpool is the most important thing is getting the tone and the voice right. That the storytelling, the actual narrative, the plots are sort of interchangeable and disposable, ultimately.
He's certainly right about Deadpool: in traditional terms, the narrative wasn't great, nor was it particularly innovative. The villains, likewise were pretty second rate. What made it was the writing of Deadpool and the correct balance of Ryan Reynold's charisma (in that case slathered all over everything else to make it all taste a lot better).
As a character, Gambit has a similar cult appeal. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he was fatally pushed backwards and then out of the film entirely, when he needs to be a cultish anti-hero figure dripping with attitude and charisma. But let's not pretend he doesn't need a great story and great fellow characters.
Kinberg also spoke a little more on the tone:
"If I ask you what your favourite movies are, youre not going to tell me about the plot. Youre going to tell me you love this character. And so what weve really tried to do with Gambit is make sure that we get the voice of that character right and the tone of the comics 100% on the page. Its a very unique tone. Its unique from Deadpool, its unique from the X-Men. Its a heist movie that weve never done in these kinds of films before. Hes a con-man. And so thats really where weve spent our time.
So X-Men meets Oceans Eleven? It's interesting to hear that they are going to push Gambit's darker side and shadier past, because that's missing from the wider X-Men universe.
Maybe we should consider this one their attempt to make an Ant-Man type film.
Are you excited to see Gambit? Share your reactions below in the comments thread.