Channing Tatum: Gambit is the ‘Most Un-X-Men X-Man’; Confirms Movie Talks

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Gambit X Men Movie Channing Tatum Channing Tatum: Gambit is the Most Un X Men X Man; Confirms Movie Talks

Building from the critical and financial success of X-Men: First Class and The Wolverine solo film, 20th Century Fox has placed an enormous amount of trust and financial backing in X-Men and X2 director Bryan Singer for the time-traveling shared universe kickoff X-Men: Days of Future Past. The film will bring back both the original X-Men cast (lead by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen) as well as the First Class team (lead by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender) while also attempting to sew-up plot holes and controversial filmmaking choices that plagued earlier installments (most notably Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand) – in order to streamline the franchise in preparation for the recently announced X-Men: Apocalypse movie.

Days of Future Past is an ambitious project, and X-Fans will have to wait another month (from the time of this writing) to find out if Singer is able to make good on all of these goals – on top of delivering a smart and entertaining X-Men movie experience. Still, the filmmaker knows what’s at stake, already talking up characters he’d like to utilize in the Apocalypse movie – including everyone’s favorite Ragin’ Cajun, Gambit (along with Nightcrawler).

But who could play Remy Etienne LeBeau? In the build-up to Days of Future Past, X-Men series producer Lauren Shuler Donner mentioned the studio had met with Channing Tatum for the part – indicating, at the time, that she was eyeing the 22 Jump Street star for a solo Gambit movie. Now, following months of speculation about whether or not Shuler is actually “dying to do a Gambit movie with Channing Tatum,” the actor has officially confirmed that he met with the film producer and “would love to do [a Gambit movie].”

Channing Tatum Gambit Movie Long Hair Channing Tatum: Gambit is the Most Un X Men X Man; Confirms Movie Talks

Speaking with MTV, here’s the full quote from Tatum:

I met with Lauren Shuler Donner. And I would love it. Gambit is really the only X-Man I’ve ever loved. I mean I’ve loved them all, they’re all great, but I guess from being down south – my dad’s from Louisiana, I’m from Mississippi, Alabama, Florida – I don’t know. I just related to him. He’s just kind of suave… He’s the most un X-Men X-Man that’s ever been in X-Men. Other than maybe Wolverine, who’s like the anti-hero. He’s a thief. He’s not even a hero. He’s kind of walking the line of grey. He loves women and drinking and smoking and stuff so he’s just a cool guy who happens to have a moral center. I hope it [comes together]. You never know it’s a weird industry. If the stars align, I would die to play it. I’m already working on the accent. It’s crappy at the moment.

If the “stars align” and Tatum is given the part, he’d be replacing Friday Night Lights star Taylor Kitsch. Despite a respectful turn in Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor, Kitsch has been the victim of one box office bomb after another – starting with his turn as Gambit in the derided X-Men Origins Wolverine solo movie.

Still with Shuler talking up solo films for everyone from Gambit to Mystique (if Jennifer Lawrence was willing to continue in the role), it’d be naive to think that any of the producer’s recent wish list projects will be announced any time soon. While a Gambit (or Mystique) movie would be fun to see and, inherently, include solid potential, 20th Century Fox has yet to see knockdown blockbuster returns from any of their previous X-Men series films – and, before tie-in projects can be taken seriously, the studio needs to ensure a successful launch for Days of Future Past.

Most entries in the series earn-back solid profits (especially after merchandising) but the franchise is not the ticket selling powerhouse some fans might think (or hope). Currently the combined worldwide box office of the six X-Men movies is $2.3 billion – whereas the four installments in Sony’s Spider-Man franchise have, collectively, raised 3.2 billion at the global box office. As a result, until the studio receives stronger returns from the core film series, it’s highly unlikely that any new solo characters will be launched – especially one that wasn’t included in any of the successful team-up movies. If Fox is going to start a new solo series to accompany Wolverine and the X-Men, Deadpool is the most likely candidate – especially given his ties to X-Force (a shared universe movie that is actually in development and more than casual producer name dropping).

Psylocke Deadpool Wolverine Archangle Uncanny X Force Channing Tatum: Gambit is the Most Un X Men X Man; Confirms Movie Talks

That said, with the news that Singer wants Gambit in X-Men: Apocalypse, it’s probable that Tatum is a frontrunner for the role – even if Shuler’s interest in a solo film is farther down the line. Unfortunately, the actor only confirms prior talks and did not elaborate on when the conversations took place. For that reason, the current state of his potential involvement is unclear – since his meeting with Shuler might have been months back, long before Singer began laying out a plan for Apocalypse, or relatively recent (meaning that Tatum could even be in active/on-going talks for the project).

Upon the original revelation that Tatum had met with 20th Century Fox for a Gambit role, fans were mixed about whether or not the actor could actually deliver a satisfying version of the character – with many skeptics pointing to Tatum’s extremely buff physique as a drawback. That said, the actor has earned a lot of goodwill the past few years with enjoyable performances in a number of successful films (especially 21 Jump Street) – even flexing solid dramatic chops in Magic Mike and Side Effects. In spite of fan outrage, Tatum is an understandable choice for the studio – given that he’s an increasingly well-known, and likable, leading man that casual moviegoers turn out to see.

Channing Tatum starring as Gambit in X Men Movie Channing Tatum: Gambit is the Most Un X Men X Man; Confirms Movie Talks

Nevertheless, while Tatum isn’t the meathead that some naysayers think, and could easily slim-down for the role, he’ll still need more than a love for the character to win-over skeptics. Of course, that doesn’t mean that he might not surprise his critics either – should Singer actually choose to cast Tatum in Apocalypse.


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More: Screen Rant Podcast – Channing Tatum as Gambit?


X-Men: Days of Future Past releases May 23, 2014, followed by Fantastic Four on June 19, 2015, X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016, The Wolverine 3 (not the official title) on March 3, 2017, Fantastic Four 2 on July 14, 2017, and an unspecified Marvel film on July 13, 2018.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates on the X-Men franchise as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.

Source: MTV News [via /Film]

Follow Ben Kendrick on Twitter @benkendrick
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  1. He likes the character, has knowledge of it, wants to play the character and has enough of a fanbase that it would benefit them so why not?

    Think of all the people who watch anything Channing’s in, whether it sucks or not. Their ticket buying alone would add to the usual X-Men box office haul and maybe generate new fans of the properties.

  2. “Tatum is an understandable choice for the studio – given that he’s an increasingly well-known, and likable, leading man that casual moviegoers turn out to see.”

    Five years ago, people would have said the same about a pre-XMO:W and pre-Green Lantern Ryan Reynolds.

    Someone earlier mentioned Josh Holloway as making a good Gambit. Now that I can get behind.

  3. Still waiting for a real Psylocke…

    • I am so with you on Psylocke but a part of me is sad for her ending. Not sure why I get attached to her like that to be honest (no spoilers).

  4. PLEASE NO!!!!! He will ruin Gambit!!! He is a horrible actor! I was so glad they killed him off in GI Joe!!! Please find a better person! This makes me so mad being such a huge comic book fan!!!!

    • Dear Channing Tatum,
      I grew up watching the X-Men cartoons and so being a big fan of Gambit… Please DO NOT PLAY THE ROLE OF GAMBIT. They already have enough talent actors. Bryan Singer keep searching and Don’t settle. Find someone good looking too.
      Thank you.

  5. I’m torn on this.
    I’m not a Channing Tatum “fan”, but he’s not the world’s worst actor. Neither is Taylor Kitsch, he just seems bad at picking projects (except for John Carter; that was a pretty enjoyable film that failed for some reason).
    Anyways, he seems to have passion for the character and I don’t think his size is an issue. He can slim down like they said but he’s more ripped than buff anyway.
    ON THE OTHER HAND, my wife and I joke about how he’s always mumbling his lines, and whenever he tries to go for emotion his voice sounds whiny to me. I haven’t seen Dear John though, which is one of those Nicholas Sparks romantic films where someone always gets a disease and dies or something like that so maybe he has range that I haven’t seen yet.

  6. When you think Tatum you think Duke from GI Joe or Magic Mike?

    The way Cyclops, the LEADER of the X-Men gets treated by Fox you think he needs a solo film. Magneto with a high profile actor couldn’t even get a solo movie and is synonymous with as the key villain of all the franchise.

    This film is a hit with Tatum fans and and noting more.

    • neither when i think of him i see him being danny mcbrides b**** LOL

  7. There was furore when Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker, and he won an Oscar. But Heath was a brilliant actor. The only thing I’ve seen Channing in was GI Joe. Which was probably one of the worst films I have ever seen.

  8. Gaspard Ulliel will always be my Gambit but hopefully Channing can pull it off.

  9. Don’t get me wrong I like Channing Tatum as an actor as I have 21 jump street on DVD and i would like catch 22 jump street in cinemas, but I just can’t imagine Channing Tatum as Gambit I just can’t, unlike Henry Cavill and Andrew Garfield who had took the role of Superman and Spiderman and nailed the roles. Channing is not the best fit for gambit but if they did an reboot of The Naked Gun with but with Channing Tatum as The Leslie Nielsen role then maybe that would allow him to explore more comedy for an change after all he is doing 22 jump street with Johan Hill so that would make sense. This ain’t an personal attack just an Channing Tatum fan who thinks Taylor Kirsch should resume the role of Remy beau/Gambit only because of his lack of screen time in X Men Origins Wolverine and because that was the very first time that Taylor had been in any comic book movie ever. So with that having been said, it is too early to recast Gambit. or at least that is what I think or at least as everyone has opinions As this one is mine, like it or not. Help yourself to browse though it.