Few recent comic properties have had a rockier road than Fox’s upcoming X-Feature Gambit. On and off the release schedule for a few years now, Channing Tatum has managed to stay attached as the lead throughout the process. And while Fox is pretty happy about that, comic fans are still waiting to hear his Cajun accent before we get too stoked about the casting. As far as consistency throughout the process, Tatum’s involvement is the only thing that hasn’t changed.
Last month we learned that Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Carribean, The Ring) had signed on to direct, but that was about all we knew about major cast and crew, aside from screenwriters Reid Carolin and Joshua Zetumer being attached. Carolin previously wrote the Magic Mike movies that starred Tatum, and Zetumer was responsible for that soulless RoboCop remake from 2014.
Now, as excited as you might be for a movie about Remy LeBeau, produced by the studio that previously butchered him in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and from the director of The Lone Ranger, starring the male lead from She’s The Man and Step Up 2: The Streets – I’m still a bit skeptical.
If there is a bit of news to put my mind at ease slightly, it’s that uber-talented (and much underrated) actress Lizzy Caplan is reportedly set to join the cast in an as-of-yet unannounced role. This isn’t the first time she’s been up for a role in one of the X-Movies, as she was apparently on Fox’s shortlist to play Domino before the part was cast with Zazie Beetz.
Now there’s been a lot of speculation as to who Caplan might be playing, but the most likely possibilities draw from a fairly shallow pool. One rumor we’ve heard is that the film will feature Eternal Candra as the main villain, which is a part that Caplan could certainly pull off. The most popular theory, however, is that we’ll see Lizzy as Bella Donna Boudreaux.
This comes from Screen Rant;
Introduced in 1992’s X-Men #8, Bella Donna was created by Jim Lee and Scott Lobdell. She meets Remy LeBeau as a child and the two hit it off instantly, which creates some complications. While Remy belongs to the Thieves Guild, Bella Donna belongs to the rival Assassins Guild. Though there are flavors of a Romeo & Juliet story, a wedding between the two is actually proposed to help unite the clans. Bella Donna’s brother Julien, however, mars the ceremony by challenging Remy to a fight afterward. Remy not only succeeds but kills Julien, choosing to then leave his clan and bride for exile.
We don’t yet know enough about the story to say for sure what direction they’ll take Caplan’s character, but these two characters seem the most likely for an actress of her caliber. And since we don’t yet know who she will play, we thought it would be prudent to get you excited for the actress herself rather than focusing on the possible character.
For those unfamiliar with Lizzy Caplan, here are our five favorite roles she’s been in, a shortlist if you will, of stuff you can check out before the movie drops in 2019. As much as we love Freaks And Geeks, Caplan was just a bit player then, and as alluring as she is on True Blood that show was never great. The first Hot Tub Time Machine was fantastic, but they totally wasted Lizzy’s talents, giving her a generic love interest role, a crime that results in my biggest complaint about that film. But these roles that follow, are the ones that really allowed her to shine.
5. Save the Date – This 2012 film – co-starring Martin Starr and Alison Brie – gave Caplan a chance to dive a little deeper than her usual comedic fare – this still has its humorous moments, but more indie-movie humor, so it’s more sad-funny than funny-funny. But Caplan is great. This role nabbed her an Outstanding Achievement in Acting award at the Newport Beach Film Festival that year.
4. Cloverfield – The first of the Cloverfield films saw Lizzy deliver one of the strongest performances in an ensemble that included Jessica Lucas (Evil Dead, Gotham), TJ Miller (Silicon Valley, Deadpool), and Theo Rossi (Sons of Anarchy, Luke Cage). Her involvement in this film, an instant genre classic, got her nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the 2008 Saturn Awards.
3. Mean Girls – The earliest film on this list, people often forget she was in Mean Girls, as Lindsay Lohan and the Queen Bees took all the attention here. It was obvious that screenwriter Tina Fey put a little bit of herself into writing Caplan’s character Janice, which resulted in her getting some of the best lines in the film.
2. Masters of Sex – The critical crown jewel of her career to this point is her co-starring role as Virginia Johnson in the historical Showtime drama Masters of Sex. The show earned her a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at the 2014 Emmys, though she lost out to Julianna Margulies. Robbery! She has received five other nominations for the show and won Best Actress in a Drama Series in 2014 from the Online Film & Television Association.
1. Party Down – Perhaps the role where she gets to shine the brightest was in the unfortunately canceled Starz comedy Party Down. From the creator of Veronica Mars, this show boasted a phenomenal cast, which was led by Caplan and Adam Scott. Running for 20 episodes from 2009-2010, the show told the story of a catering company in LA full of caterers who wanted to be doing anything else. Comprised of struggling actors and writers, the ensemble featured Ken Marino, Jane Lynch, Ryan Hansen, Megan Mullally, and Martin Starr – along with countless other big name guest stars. And despite the strength of the cast, it’s the dynamic between Caplan and Scott that gave the series its heart and earns it much deserved rewatch value.
So as you can tell, we’re big fans of this casting, whomever she ends up playing, Let’s just hope she gets to do more than she did in Hot Tub Time Machine…
Gambit will hit theaters on February 14, 2019.
Images: Marvel Comics, Paramount Pictures,
Showtime, IFC Films, Bad Robot, Showtime, Starz