The X-Men franchise is in a state of flux. The original series launched in 2000 by director Bryan Singer is said to come to a close with X-Men: Apocalypse, and future films will exist in a fractured timeline caused by the events seen in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Coming next year are two spinoffs, with Deadpool arriving in February and Gambit supposedly coming in October 2016 (that could change though). Its unclear how these next two adventures will tie into the past while creating a new future for the franchise, but one thing is certain. Anna Paquin will not crossover into Gambit despite how important Rogue is to that character.
Rupert Wyatt, best known for Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the The Gambler remake, was set to direct Gambit, with production rumored to start before the end of the year. But he had to drop out due to scheduling issues. Since that time, Fox has not announced a new director, or any other developments. Now comes word from Anna Paquin herself that she will not be reprising Rogue in this spinoff. And as far as we know, she is not coming back for X-Men: Apocalypse. Though, she may have an uncredited cameo in that next sequel.
The actress announced the news on Twitter. A fan asked if she was returning in Gambit. Her simply reply was: No. This may be surprising to some, as Gambit and Rogue share a very interesting relationship in both the Marvel comic books and the animated series. It has always been tumultuous, and some might even describe it as tragic. Gambit fell in love with Rogue, but because of her mutant powers, they could never be intimate. When she touches any human skin, she absorbs that person's abilities and threatens their life.
In the early X-Men movies, starting with the 2000 original, Gambit was replaced by Iceman, played by Shawn Ashmore. The complications caused by Iceman and Rogue's relationship were explored to varying degrees in the first three movies. Both characters appeared in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but most of Rogue's scenes were cut out of the movie. They were later replaced in X-Men: Days of Future Past: Rogue Cut which arrived earlier this year, but the deleted scenes do little to further or enhance Iceman and Rogue's relationship.
Rogue is quite a bit different from the comic books in the movie franchise. As she has played a major role in four of the films to date, it's not too much of a shock that she won't be utilized in Gambit. The movie is instead setting up Belladonna (Bella) Boudreaux as Gambit's love interest. When last we heard, Léa Seydoux was the front runner to take on the role. Though, no official announcement about the female lead has ever been made by 20th Century Fox. Right now, Channing Tatum is the only actor officially signed on.
Gambit will star Channing Tatum as Remy LeBeau, a character that was first introduced in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, played by Taylor Kitsch. He is a mutant able to transform potential energy into kinetic energy. It isn't known if other mutants will appear in the movie. Hugh Jackman is rumored to have a Wolverine cameo. With Deadpool bringing in X-Men characters Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, its more than likely that Gambit will follow a similar route. Though Anna Paquin is not returning for the spinoff, we can't entirely rule out that someone else isn't taking over the role. It seems we've entered a stage in the X-Men franchise where recasting can and will happen.