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Josh Holloway reveals he was supposed to play Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Contributed by
May 1, 2018

The X-Man known as Remy Etienne LeBeau, aka Gambit, has not had an easy time while in the hands of Hollywood. Able to manipulate pure kinetic energy, Gambit can easily turn mundane objects like playing cards into deadly weapons. He made his onscreen debut in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which, aside from completely botching the character of Deadpool, was not particularly loved by either critics or fans. Taylor Kitsch (John Carter) played the Cajun mutant, but never showed up again after Origin's poor reception.

But as it turns out, Kitsch wasn't the first choice for the role. While recently promoting the third season of USA's Colony, Josh Holloway (Lost, Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol) revealed that he was originally picked for Gambit by 20th Century Fox.

"I actually screen-tested with Hugh Jackman," he told Digital Spy. "It was amazing — they said, 'You're it, you're the guy, you're Gambit!' and they shook my hand."

Sadly, studio interference got in the way and Holloway, 40 at the time, was replaced with the 38-year-old Kitsch.

"[The studio head] said, 'I want someone really young, like that kid in High School Musical!', so there I went," Holloway continued. 

To make things even sadder, he had already started preparing for the film by learning nifty tricks via online tutorials. 

"I could spin a card on one finger, I could one-hand cut, I learned to throw a card... it was cool."

Holloway's only weakness when it came to Gambit was a Cajun accent, which he admitted he's horrible at emulating. 

Currently, Channing Tatum is attempting to get a Gambit standalone movie off the ground, and despite being plagued by director exits, it's still slated for release next year.