RUMOR: Daniel Craig Wanted For ‘Gambit’ Villain – Will Soderbergh Direct?

Oct 3, 2017

We recently got some character and plot details for Fox’s Gambit spinoff starring Channing Tatum from SplashReport, which suggests that casting is on the horizon.

Here are those potential details.

“Gambit is hired to do a job in Paris in which he has to steal something from the Louvre Museum. His mysterious employer is revealed to be Nathaniel Essex a.k.a. Mr. Sinister. He offers Gambit 40 million to recover a mysterious trunk that was stolen by the Boudreaux clan. It will be auctioned off during the yearly Thieves Ball where all the criminal organizations in the world meet up. It uses New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations as a cover. Gambit decides to enlist a crew of mutants to pull off this seemingly impossible heist…”

This information is most likely directly tied to the film’s push into the casting phase (likely making the rounds to agencies and casting companies) as previously stated by Tatum and Simon Kinberg, Gambit would start pre-production at the end of 2017.

It looks like that is indeed what is happening now, as another report from SplashReport says that Tatum’s Logan Lucky co-star Daniel Craig is now being eyed for the villain role of Mister Sinister.

A production start on Bond 25 is seeming a year away, so there is a chance Craig could do it.

I’ve been suggesting Daniel Craig play an X-Men villain for years in articles. Specifically, Russian cyborg/mutant villain Omega Red role due to his working relationship with Wolverine’s Hugh Jackman and Sabertooth’s Liev Schreiber. I’m all for something a little meatier like Sinister, who could become the big franchise antagonist to replace Magneto possibly spanning multiple films.

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Daniel Craig’s Spectre co-star Lea Seydoux was originally offered Gambit’s female lead, Bella Donna Boudreaux. Lea and Channing have a Tarantino connection both having small roles in Inglorious Basterds and The Hateful Eight. It remains to be seen if she’ll be returning to the project.

What is interesting here is that director Steven Soderbergh has worked with Tatum, Craig, and the script’s co-writer Reid Carolin. Reid, who was the screenwriter on Soderbergh’s Magic Mike films (which included Psylocke’s Olivia Munn among the cast) and is the producing partner of Channing. Gambit is being pegged as a heist film set within the X-Men universe, having the Ocean’s director tackling it would mean it’s advancing the genre rather than copying other films.

I personally think if anyone could convince Soderbergh to make a comic book film it would be Tatum.

Channing alluded during Comic-Con in July that they’ve retooled the script to go the R-rated route (taking cues from Logan and Deadpool), which would also give Soderbergh fewer restrictions with the material.

“I think we got super, super lucky. I think a lot of setbacks, we’ll look at them in hindsight as giant blessings. Because we were making it, [and] we’re writing a movie right at the turn of a paradigm shift in movies. So we got lucky that we didn’t just come out with ours, which I don’t think was fully formed. It was a good idea. We were going in the right direction. And then we got to learn from two really beautifully different kinds of a complete paradigm shifts… like Logan and Deadpool, I mean, they knocked down a lot of doors for us to be able to do things that we wanted to do in the first place.”

In February, franchise producer Simon Kinberg stated that Gambit was eyeing an early 2018 production start, which would make sense due to the multiple release dates Fox has slated for Marvel releases in 2019.

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“It’s a movie that we hope will be ready to go by the end of this year and shoot next year. “

Gambit is seemingly the only other public X-Men project ready to go with X-Force and Deadpool 3 also on the books, but unlikely shooting next. If we’re back in the casting phase on Gambit, a director would likely be already in place and the film is indeed in pre-production.

Gambit is currently without a confirmed production start or release date.

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