Anticipation is something that has rather gone out of fashion in a world of instant gratification where you can binge on an entire box set in one night and where fans expect to be rewarded with bigger, better, and ever more exciting sequels, prequels, and side stories to give them their fill of a favorite franchise. Around 75 percent of TV viewers admit to binge-watching TV on a regular basis, proving that this trend is here to stay.
While we may want instant gratification in this way, the results aren’t always ideal. TV shows like Preacher (an Amazon Prime show that pulled in 1.722 million viewers for its season one finale, with 765,000 of those adults aged between 18 and 49), and Game of Thrones are all very popular and well-executed, despite the fact that you can only binge on them once they have initially been released, which suggests that we can, and will, be patient for shows we really enjoy and appreciate.
With this in mind, are we, therefore, ready to be patient when a film or TV show gets lost in production, or fails to reach completion when it’s due? Or, does this lead to the inevitability of it being panned even if the show or film survives nearly being canned?
A Gamble on Gambit or a Jackpot Movie?
Let’s look at a case in point. The Gambit movie is now seemingly back on the agenda, with Channing Tatum, a hugely popular actor if his 8.83 million Twitter followers are anything to go by, now cast as Gambit. The movie seems (for the moment at least) to officially be back on and may now actually be made. Having endured rewrites, two directors coming on board before leaving, and a wealth of other uncertainty, you could be forgiven for thinking that the movie is going to be as successful for anyone involved in it as being in Star Wars nearly was for Natalie Portman (although ultimately this didn’t stop her from becoming the face of Miss Dior and going on to win an Oscar for her role in Black Swan).
Perhaps, though, a Gambit movie is perfect to take a chance on. Indeed, being a character who has to destroy something in order to use his powers, much like a poker player who opts to lose a hand to learn his opponents’ tell, you can see that perhaps the first attempts to make the movie were the opening gamble. If you stick with the poker idea for a second, consider also that the Gambit character enjoys being part of the popular culture surrounding casinos and gambling, as documented by Betway and exemplified clearly by the fact that companies like DC allow their brands to be part of online slot games. With this in mind, the chance to bet on himself as being a success in the movie world (perhaps as big a success as Logan!) is possibly something that Gambit would approve of, never mind the delays.
The biggest test for Gambit is not that he has taken years to take shape in a film (which could yet take years longer to become a finished film), but the fact that a recent Buzzfeed article suggests that Gambit is only the 24th best character in the X-Men world, with his relationship with Rogue and the fact that he isn’t always a ‘goodie goodie’ the only things that really endear him to the publication. With these preconceptions pulling the character down, he will need one heck of a storyline and some great writing behind him to even get close to the most recent X-Men films like X-Men Apocalypse, which had stars in it like Jennifer Lawrence (another Dior Addict model who likes her sci-fi movies). This movie achieved a resounding $534.5 million worldwide box office haul.
Of course, while not being hugely popular doesn’t help the Gambit case from the off, the correlation between popularity and success isn’t always quite so neat. In fact, there is one character who was truly popular yet not a massive commercial success. A huge flop that took 15 years to even be released was Duke Nukem Forever. The title implies how long that period of 15 years, with protracted development taken to the extreme, felt, but the game proves that if you lose the generation of fans who loved the initial product or character, you’re not going to keep them on board and generate the hype needed to create more success many years down the line.
Perhaps the most hopeful aspect of Gambit being a film that can generate some success is that as a character, he can use his card-loving, gambling ways to create a fun, quirky persona who can succeed as a slightly more serious version of the likes of Deadpool. Should the movie manage to do this, then the chances are that the long production time and the unknown element of the character will be forgotten.
If all this can happen, then we will not only have a new hero to marvel at, but the gamble on Gambit could pay off big time, perhaps smashing the Logan film and going on to become the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, (with Logan the fourth biggest of all time). Watch this space!
References & Sources from Article
- Dior.com – Miss Dior
- Betway.com – Online Casino Culture
- Dccomics.com – World of DC Comics
- Dukenukemforever.com – Duke Nukem Franchise