In all the years that I have read X-Men, there’s one character I have loathed above all others. Gambit.

I don’t know if it’s the writing, or the character, or the characterization, I don’t know. Gambit just rubs me the wrong way. I have tried to like him. I know hundreds of Gambit fans, but I have never been one of them.

Until today.

Pause the stream while you watch this. The controller is at the upper right, or unfortunately at the bottom of the page if you’re on your phone (we’re working on that part). Also, be warned that there is some rough language in this, so you might not want to play it in audio range of those with delicate sensibilities – like your kids. Or your boss.

I picture this a parallel universe, someplace where Gambit is almost suave, cool, bodacious even.

And in this universe and with this depiction, which is well within the parameters of the character as I know him, I think I could almost like him. Not too over the top. Superpowers tastefully depicted, but the stormtroopers were inadequately trained for a superhuman threat.

They should have managed to hit Remy at least once. They fired over sixty rounds…

With my complaints aside, my ability to like Gambit is a testament to the artists, writers and director.

If I would have make any criticisms at all, I would say: lose the black guy dies first, because it’s a nasty trope and we should stop doing it.

Keep making more of these. It was a professional level treat.

Gambit was made as a short subject, and a proof of concept to help the production company Scissor Films get the funding they needed to make a full length TV movie Play for Keeps. It is directed by Jensen Noen, and written by Joe Grayem and Jensen. It stars actor and martial arts expert Nick Bateman, along with Ellen Hollman as Rogue, and Anna Butkevich as Magik. , and is directed by Jensen Noen . Apparently they got their funding, because Play for Keeps in post-production.

The distribution opportunities for it are limited, since it’s a not-for-profit fan film made without the official backing of either Marvel Comics or Marvel Studios, and can’t be shown in theaters. It does, however, mean that once post-production is complete we may get to see the whole thing on some free service such as YouTube. There has as yet been no official announcement of a release date.


Thaddeus Howze
Thaddeus Howze

Thaddeus Howze is an award-winning writer, editor, podcaster and activist creating speculative fiction, scientific, political and cultural commentary from his office in Hayward, California.
Thaddeus’ speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has published two books, ‘Hayward’s Reach’ (2011), a collection of short stories and ‘Broken Glass’ (2013) an urban fantasy novella starring his favorite paranormal investigator, Clifford Engram.