X-Men ’97 Actors Lenore Zann And A.J. LoCasio Share Why They Hope To See From The MCU’s Rogue And Gambit, And I Completely Agree With Them

 Rogue and Gambit at nightclub in X-Men '97.
Rogue and Gambit at nightclub in X-Men '97.

X-Men ’97 was met with a wave of positive critical reception ahead of its premiere to Disney+ subscribers, and now more than halfway into Season 1’s run, it’s safe to classify it as one of the best Disney+ TV shows. The X-Men: The Animated Series revival also comes at a time when mutants have slowly been seeded throughout the Marvel movies in order and tie-in TV shows. Eventually there will come a time when the MCU has its own X-Men team, and if that roster happens to include Rogue and Gambit, X-Men ’97 voice actors Lenore Zann and A.J. LoCascio have shared with CinemaBlend what they’d like to see from these versions of the characters.

While my recent chat with Zann and LoCascio was obviously centered around X-Men ’97, which included them sharing how they were “devastated” by the events of “Remember It,” before the interview wrapped up, I wanted to get get their thoughts on how Rogue and Gambit should be represented in the MCU. Zann, who’s reprising Rogue following her initial stint as the power-sapping mutant in X-Men: The Animated Series, answered first, saying the following about her character:

Well, I hope that they stay more true to the character this time. I think the last time around, they probably made Rogue a bit more Jubilee; a pensive teenager who’s constantly needing to be saved, and Rogue is not like that at all. Rogue can save herself and the world, or at least die trying. So I hope that they’re more true to the character this time around.

She’s right on the money here. Although Anna Paquin’s time as Rogue in the first three X-Men movies and the “Rogue Cut” of X-Men: Days of Future Past was many people’s first exposure to the character, Zann is correct that it felt like Paquin’s Rogue was too much like Jubilee in terms of characterization. Even if we take away the permanently-absorbed super strength and flight that Rogue has in the comics and the X-Men ’97 continuity, she’s still an X-Man who’s not to be trifled with, so I agree with Lenore Zann that hopefully the MCU’s Rogue will be presented as being more capable out in the field.

Then there’s A.J. LoCascio, who took over Gambit-voicing duties for X-Men ’97 from Chris Potter, who’s now voicing Cable. LoCascio focused on the hope that Gambit’s traditional personality is retained, then segued into talking about Rogue alongside the Ragin’ Cajun, saying:

That’s tough. I mean, I think that this is a hard act to follow because with the cartoon and now with this show, you’re creating a definitive version of the characters that’s going to live in people’s heads as being the bar to meet. Going from a cartoon or a comic to live action is challenging on its own, but now having something so recent that people are going to point to, that’s a hell of a challenge. I would just hope that whoever they get for Gambit is fun and witty and retains the charm that Gambit has. I think we haven’t really seen a character quite like him in the MCU really. He’s his own thing, and same with Rogue. Rogue is such a spitfire and so strong and so cool. There isn’t really anyone like them in the MCU as I can recall. It’d be a wild act to follow up, so I’m excited to see what they do, but there’s a bubble gum sort of charm to them that’s hard to capture, I think, in real life because everyone wants everything to feel gritty, black leather suits and grounded. They are sort of more than that, they’re heightened in a way that isn’t in our own reality, really.

So far Gambit has only been on the big screen by Taylor Kitsch in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, one of the lower-ranked X-Men movies. For a long time, a Gambit spinoff movie starring Channing Tatum was in development, but it got shelved after Disney acquired 20th Century Fox. Still, if the MCU is looking to spotlight X-Men who didn’t get a lot of time to shine during the Fox era, Gambit would be a good pick. Should he be given a bigger platform this time around, then I also agree that Rogue should be by his side. That was a pairing that I missed seeing in the original X-Men film series, and ideally as much of their core personalities will be retained, even if only to make them stand out from other MCU superheroes.

The last big X-Men-related twist in the MCU came in The Marvels end-credits scene with Kelsey Grammer reprising Beast, albeit one from a different universe. We’ll let you know when more X-Men characters pop into this franchise, including, of course, Rogue and Gambit. Until then, we’ll keep passing along the big news surrounding upcoming Marvel movies and upcoming Marvel TV shows.