Tuesday, August 25, 2015

GAMBIT Casts Léa Seydoux as Bella Donna

Don' you be worryin' now, X-Fans.  Gambit done got himself a wife.

Deadline reports that Fox's upcoming X-Men franchise film Gambit has cast Léa Seydoux as Bella Donna Boudreaux, the woman who married Remy LeBeau.  The film stars Channing Tatum and will be directed by Rupert Wyatt.

According to the article, Seydoux was on the shortlist with Mad Max: Fury Road‘s Abbey Lee and Rebecca Ferguson of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.  They were about to test for the role, and then Ferguson dropped out to take one of the leads in DreamWorks’ adaptation of The Girl on the Train.

Seydoux, 30, is a French actress best known as Charlotte LaPadite in Inglorious Basterds, Sabine Moreau in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and Clotilde in The Grand Budapest Hotel.  She'll be appearing as Madeleine Swann in the upcoming James Bond film Spectre, and has had roles in the films Blue is the Warmest Color, Midnight in Paris, and the 2009 version of Robin Hood.

Created in 1992 by Scott Lobdell and Jim Lee, Bella Donna first appeared in X-Men (vol.2) #8 as Bella Donna Boudreaux, a mutant with powers of astral projection and plasma blasts from the Assassins Guild in New Orleans that is rival to the Thieves Guild, to which Gambit belongs.  First meeting as children, the two became fast friends but the rivalry between the Guilds increased as they grew up. Their fathers arranged for a marriage between the two in the hopes that it would unite the Guilds. Immediately after the wedding, Bella Donna's brother Julien lashed out in jealousy and challenged Remy in a fight to the death.  Remy won, and as a punishment he was exiled from New Orleans. Choosing to make his own choices in life from that point on, he abandoned Bella Donna instead of letting her come with him.

A few years later, Bella Donna sought out Gambit to help fend off the Brood, who were attacking the Guilds.  Having persuaded Gambit and the X-Men to come back to New Orleans, they battled the new enemy with the aid of Ghost Rider (Dan Ketch).  Using her new psychic powers, Bella Donna followed Psylocke into the astral plane and expended her energy, before collapsing in Gambit's arms.  Believing her dead, he told the Thieves' Guild to take care of her, and went off for revenge against the Brood.  

As it happened, Bella Donna wasn't actually dead, but merely in a coma.  Gambit risked his life to bring her Candra's Elixir of Life, although while she was catatonic she was accidentally touched by Rogue.  She woke up without any recollection of who she was, or who Remy was, and he left her again.  Bella Donna's memory slowly returned, and she felt as if her soul had been violated. Enraged, she kidnapped Rogue's old boyfriend Cody, once again pitting herself against Gambit.  For the third time, he left her behind.

Seydoux will be the first actress to portray the character in live action, although the character was featured in the X-Men animated series episode "X-Ternally Yours."

Gambit is expected to arrive in theaters on October 7, 2016.

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