Gore’s Gambit, by Tyler Smith
It was just announced that director Gore Verbinski will be directing a Gambit-focused film for Fox, with Channing Tatum in the title role. Between this announcement, Deadpool 2 coming up, and The Gifted on television, it would appear that the X-Men cinematic universe is starting to really pick up steam, especially now that executives no longer feel the need to focus on Wolverine.
I’m interested to know exactly who will be overseeing the larger endeavor, but hiring Gore Verbinski is always a step in the right direction. Verbinski is consistently one of the most interesting filmmakers working today, and often an almost-unparalleled visualist. While many understandably know him from his Pirates of the Caribbean movies, he also directed The Ring and A Cure for Wellness, films with such an oppressive creepiness that it can be hard to shake them from your mind.
Oddly, Verbinski is also responsible for two of the more memorable family films of the last twenty years, with his madcap farce Mousehunt released in 1997 and the Oscar-winning Rango in 2011. Some consider The Lone Ranger (which I sadly haven’t yet seen) a misstep, but Verbinski is clearly still seen as a good bet by studios, as handing over a character as beloved and iconic as Gambit suggests tremendous confidence.
And Verbinski will certainly work wonders with a film like this. There has always been a playfulness to Gambit – which I’m sure Channing Tatum will embrace, what with his semi-recent move into more comedic fare – that I think Gore Verbinski will be able to utilize to create a delightful-yet-dark film.
While it’s obviously too early to really know, I think this bodes well for the X-Men universe. Many of us have complained ad nauseam about the blandness of the Marvel movies, as they bring in respected directors and then proceed to sand most of their rough edges off. But, between the fatalistic Logan, the demented Deadpool, and now an intriguing Gambit, this series is poised to be unique amongst all these cinematic universes, in that each film will be allowed to do what is best for its own story, rather than sacrifice distinction on the altar of the franchise.
Normally, I wouldn’t care much about a Gambit-centered film. But with Gore Verbinski at the helm, I’m much more interested, not merely in this film, but in the larger series that it’s now a part of.