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. Now we’re talking Mon a Mi!

    They ought to just combine Gambit, Mystique and the origin of Rogue into one movie. I know ten people right now who would pay full ticket price for that…

    Lets face it, Gambit could hold his own movie and they could tell the history of the Externals. Who doesn’t want to learn all that fascinating stuff the directors will never have in X-Men Apocalypse. Example, Gambit can flesh out the Exiles…tell the origin of the Reavers, Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique and oh the Madri cult. They could have Mystique in the movie leading her own Freedom Force team or something…go nuts.

    • And nightcrawler :)

    • Gambit’s origin alone is cool! His history as a thief and being part of the Thieves Guild.

      The first 1/3 to 1/2 of movie could be about Gambit’s orgins. We could start with a young actor portraying him and the joining the Thieves Guild. Flash forward to Gambit still as a part of the Thieves Guild and trying to unite the Thieves Guild and Assassins Guild by marrying Bella Donna.

      2nd half of movie to 2/3 of movie could be Mr. Sinister taking him in and using him to kidnap Morlocks for testing then leading to the Morlock Massacre. The ending could be with him joining X-Men.

      • Yeah seeing him fight for the thieves guild and lead his own group of Exiles, who are getting ready for Apocalypse to take the throne would be sick. Also to see Gambit fight the Prelates and Mystique since that’s something the books did that we won’t see elsewhere.

        That’d be cool to see a few of those epic battles, a child Nate Grey could make a cameo in this film. Ozymandius could make a cameo in the film and story wise they got a really good backstory they can use to reinforce the movie.

        Gambit could be Fox’s Captain America literally, and Mystique could be the Black Widow which is something the fans wouldn’t mind too much..

    • Well, I would not be “moaning, ah me”. I could handle Tatum as Gambit. Nightcrawler coming back? Well, yes, definitely up for that, hopefully with the same guy who played him previously in an earlier X-men film. A Deadpool flick? Well, OK, why not (even though not a priority…but please put him in the superhero suit from the comics!). But what I really want can be summed up in two words, and I bet anyone who knows me from this website can guess what those two words are….

      WHERE’S CYCLOPS!!!???

        • Actually, you are probably correct that Cyke would not make a good solo flick. HOWEVER, as team leader he did not even come close to getting his due. Perhaps they need to reboot THE WHOLE X-MEN THING totaly! And start from the beginning. With the comics and canon and tradition as a guide…and see what they come up with.

          • Well lets just say Cyclops is going to be in Apocalypse no matter what and at least a cameo perhaps in DoFP. But remember he is dead. And the actions Wolverine takes during this timeline saga, resets time, so Cyclops will be alive…

            But he won’t be really going full steam until Apocalypse. And James Marsden has to be Cyclops in the film, he’s the most perfect casting since Wolverine. That guy is Cyclops right down to his attitude and should be in his own film.

            • James Marsden already confirmed he won’t be in DOFP. A younger version of him will make a cameo in the past though.

    • This talk makes me want to go and spend a huge amount of money on comic books again catching up on all the stuff I’ve missed since I was younger. I fall down rabbit holes on the internet regarding comic characters and storylines I missed all the time. I loved the x-books and the Spiderman books so much.

  2. Isn’t Channing the same guy who ruined the character of Duke from the G.I. Joe movie franchise?

    • No, he wasn’t given a lot to work with. It was the script. And the camera crew. And the producers. And the directors……said all Ryan Reynolds fans LOL

      • Ha! Love it.

      • Not really fair of you to bring in Ryan Reynolds. He has nothing to do with this. And yeah, Green Lantern and X-Men Origins: Wolverine sucked because of – you guessed it – the terrible writing. Ryan’s acting actually helped elevate those films just a little (although the best thing about Origins was Liev Schrieber’s brilliant and slightly scary Sabretooth).

        Maybe you should stop trying to ride Reynolds for stuff out of his control. He’s not interested in you that way, no matter how hard you wanna try. Plus you seem way underage, judging by your comment there.

  3. I like CT, even in crap movies like White House Down. I could support him as the Ragin’ Cajun. I’d much rather see him as Jamie Maddox in an X-Factor movie though.

    • it’s jamie madrox i am not 100% sure but sure enough to post the comment

      • Yep, it’s Madrox.

  4. “He’s the most un X-Men X-Man that’s ever been in X-Men.”

    I mean, I know what he is trying to say, but just…. no. There are sooooooo many more characters that qualify for that more so.

  5. Potato face. That is all.

  6. ok, good deal only they need to include taylor kitsch.

    see gambit can start out 13 years old, when he’s growing up with the morlocks. then he goes on to lead his on exiles team at 18 or 19, the 1970′s which would be the taylor kitsch cameo. then about five years later, gambit is now a warrior played by tatum.

    this would really do his c haracter justice, those taylor fans would see him grow up into channing tatum & it’d be easiest on them. I really think fans are gonna be surprised, I think tatum can nail this role like nothing else!

    it’d be so awesome to see gambit fight the madri cult, then meet mystique/lawrence during one of them huge battles. then during the movie destiny is explained, nightcrawler is born & we get to see the best x-man battle the reavers.

    I think this is definitely for the best, because story wise they can cover a bunch of backstory on age of apocalypse in a gambit film. and lawrence can share screen time with him, I mean not even marvel is doing a black widow film yet.

    so I think lawrence would understand it’s a teamup film, also the two of them would sell this movie like crazy cause lets face it…gambit is just frigging cool. he’s the ultimate anti-hero. who doesn’t want to see gambit take on azazel and kick its but? and the exile? and slayback or caliban?

    it’d lead right into x-force & deadpool and it would break movie records!

    • The one thing that Fox doesn’t need to do right now is create a whole new back story, look at how well that went for Wolverine. Lets not create massive plot holes, that would drive any fan of the series absolutely nuts. Gambit was raised by the thieves guild, ,he was supposed to marry someone from the assassins guild, lets go with the aftermath of those events. Instead of creating something unnecessarily complicated.

    • I agree Taylor Kitsch needs to be given a cameo as the older teenage gambit, so it is an easy transition for fans. But definitely don’t make it about the Morlocks.

      Gambit wasn’t really raised by Morlocks, he fought them as well as the externals. Also he started working for Mr. Sinister and the exiles, early on so tell that part of the story. And for god’s sake show Bella Donna’s Age of Apocalypse version!!

      I really think Jennifer Lawrence will understand, if she’s starring in the film with him. After all what young woman doesn’t want to be starring front and center next to a heart throb like Channing Tatum?

      Say whatever you will about the other actors, but Tatum to me is Gambit. Heck he even looks exactly like him! Gambit was always the outsider, Mon a Mi, and Tatum plays the outsider to a perfect tee. For storyline this flick could utterly crush Wolverine 1, because it could be Gambit & Mystique in the Freedom Force taking down the Externals, the Reavers and explaining the Madri cult of Apocalypse. A younger version of X-Man/Nate Grey could even cameo in this movie, it’s a no-brainer.

  7. This is seriously where I stop watching. Channing Tatum is awful to begin with and a terrible choice for gambit. The only thing that could be worse is him playing Duke in G.I. Joe. -Oh wait, that happened.

    • First off the Gambit movie won’t even come out until 2017, so we’ll have plenty of time for discussion.

      Nah, Channing Tatum looks exactly like Gambit. Folks need to see the forest for the trees, his hair is exactly like Gambit’s which is sandy red. His jacket, his accent? If he is not super buff although still well toned, he’s the perfect rajin cajun!

  8. I THINK HE’D DO GREAT ! If only if he would slim down…have that chiseled look and by god…if he can nail the accent…he probably could deliver the goods. I thought Taylor Kitsch made for a great Gambit…too bad his career has stalled.

  9. I would love to see Gambit and Rogue together in an X-men film with Cyclops, Jean, Nightcrawler, Juggernaught, Colossus, and Archangel as the main Cast.

  10. Maybe in X-men Apocalypse we will see the past characters Juggernaught, Young Cyclops, Jean, Storm, and others then in the future see Iceman, Cyclops, Colossus, Gambit, Rogue, Archangel, Sinister and the future is different then the Sentinel future. but what is going on with Sabretoothe?

  11. At least Tatum is Southern so it probably wouldn’t be as embarrassingly bad as Taylor Kitsch. I like Kitsch, especially in FNL, but he was horribly miscast in X-Men Origins.

  12. They do need another star for a male role since Hugh Jackman proclaims his time as Wolverine is almost up…and the execs are probably looking at Gambit to be the new star character for the X Men universe and Channing is a star, But Taylor is a better actor IMHO…and Taylor did a small accent, I really do not fault him since the whole Wolverine Orgins movie was a big mess everywhere. Either way a Gambit solo film would be great, loved him in the 90s cartoon and comics.

  13. Working on that accent huh? Hope it’s better than his Mexican accent (“Mah nem Jeff”).

    Ha, I kid. Gambit’s badass and I wouldn’t mind seeing Tatum in the role. I just want to see a Remy close to source (personality/powers-wise).

  14. Channing has really grown over the past few years but I don;t see him as Gambit. I don’t really think of gambit as being a big ol’ beefcake. If they could find a nother role for him it would be cool but I don’t think he fits Gambit. I certainly won’t care that much of it is him though.

  15. I don’t hate or have a problem with Channing but I prefer Taylor Kitsch to reprise his role, but with minor changes (such as adding more cajun vibe, red eyes). Not that he’s better, but for one thing FOX needs to FIX: continuity sake… :(

  16. Soo, Taylor Kitsch is older than Channing Tatum by 20 days…
    Anyway. Fox, man. No planning ahead, no cohesive storytelling? Would ‘Gambit’ be a standalone or would tie in to other Xfilms?
    I still think the schedule should be:
    2014- DoFP
    2016- Old Man Logan
    2017-18- XFORCE
    2019-20- Age of Apocalypse
    If Fox can make good standalone Gambit and/or a Cable&Deadpool film I’m all for it, but they need to make sure these three (Wolverine3, XForce, Apocalypse) are done well first.

    • Gambit will be a backstory and a bridge for the AoA. With the history of the Externals and reavers getting covered before Apocalypse arrived. Otherwise there would be no reason for it, this movie won’t be out before late 2016 anyway.

  17. #wheresCyclops?

    • He’ll probably be the final solo film if the first 3 succeed, people need to remember Cyclops origins are so long they take nearly 2 hours/50 minutes to cover. And his origins in the Orphanage etc didn’t get covered until the apocalypse age was over.

  18. I actually have no problem with Channing Tatum as an adult Gambit. He has proven himself as an actor and definitely has some of the characteristics that Remy embodies. We will see if he can do a huge action role when Jupiter Ascending comes out this summer. I’m open to him playing the Ragin’ Cajun. BUT…a solo Gambit movie?! I’m confused as to why Fox and Lauren Shuler-Donner think it’s smart to do all these solo X-Men movies when they haven’t even mastered the team up aspect of the X-Men universe. We don’t even know how good DOFP will be, so don’t get ahead of yourself Fox.

    If Fox was smart, they would just finish out the stories they already have. Let the First Class cast finish their contracts, let Bryan Singer do his Apocalypse film and let Mangold finish his Wolverine storytelling and after that just end the X-Men franchise. Wait some years and then REBOOT the whole thing. IT NEEDS TO BE REBOOTED. SONY DID IT WITH SPIDER-MAN AND FOX SHOULD FOLLOW SUIT! They are kidding themselves if they think they can build a solid cinematic universe on top of the already choppy, unexplained continuity already established. And let’s not get started on this Fantastic Four reboot. I love Michael B. Jordan but he may have signed on for a flop too. Just reboot the series. All the fans will understand and will definitely support when it comes back out. Fox take the bait or dig your grave. Your choice!

    • “Adult” Gambit just sounded funny to me. What else would you get? A child actor playing a child version of Gambit?

    • I totally agree! When the reboot comes though I hope Marvel owns the property again.

  19. As long as Tatum nails the Cajun accent, I’m okay with it.

  20. I was never a fan of Gambit. More of a Claremont/Morrison X-Men fan. That said, Tatum could do the accent and he has appeal with the ladies, so he is a good choice to play him. Add to that his own desire to portray Gambit and maybe he will be good as Gambit.

  21. Put him in the Apocalypse flick and then def do a spin-off. I think He kinda knows the character. His comments suggest that he does. Keep working on the accent – lol.

  22. No! I mean.. No!
    This b*tch ain´t for the role!

    Just because he wanted to play Gambit, he´s an option? please.

    • @Hyoga1001
      I like your screen name. Whenever I see it I think ‘Hyuga Neji.’ And I use 1001 for my emails.

      • Ok I´ll tell you where does that come from…
        and you were a bit close with that Hyuga Neji thing.

        My nick is from one of the Knights of the Zodiac. its an anime orginally called “Saint Seiya” in japan. just in case you dont know it.
        A very popular anime here in my country. And Hyoga is the ice warrior.

        1001 is for Jan 10, my birthday.

    • We have never seen Gambit in a live action movie. How do you know what he’s like?

      Channing Tatum looks exactly like the animated series version of Gambit, that Fox owns and he acts like him too. I mean he’s a dead ringer. He’s buff like gambit, and after slimming down he would look exactly like him.

      I’m telling all y’all Tatum will grow on you if you give him a chance. He’s like a real life version of Gambit because he grew up in Louisiana and New Orleans. Taylor Kitsch is too young to play Gambit, because he’s only 20 in X-Men Origins. He also looks too young and the producers are right about that. He’d make an excellent cameo as a younger gambit. And I know the actor’s older but he doesn’t look old enough.

      • I think Magic Mike has them scared. He obviously gets the character b/c he said he was the least X-Man out of the X-Men which is true. He is a bad guy with a complicated since of morality. People have been waiting for Gambit for a long time. Sorry to fans of the flicks but we haven’t seen him yet – Wolverine Origins doesn’t count!

        • Exactly. He’s only done indy movies so far so they think, oh no he can’t be the next jennifer lawrence. But look at his background, he grew up on the streets of New Orleans and heck tussled with worse things than Morlocks. He pretty much has Gambit’s entire identity, if not his essence, since that’s where Remy grew up.

  23. I just don’t like Tatum as an actor. It’s not so much that he can’t act his way out of a paper bag or that he looks like he is constantly sleep walking through roles or that he is the male version of megan fox or that his acting was so awful in GIJOE that they had to kill him off in part 2 to wipe the slate clean. Other than all that i just can’t in all honesty support this guys work. If you can even call it work.

    He did fantastic in 21 jump street but that’s pretty much it. As far as i’m concerned. Maybe he’ll mature into the next matthew mcconaughey and snatch an Oscar when he grows up but he just isn’t good enough now. No way good enough. And just because he has a few abs don’t mean i’m dumb enough to throw dollar bills at this phony.

    • “The male version of Meghan Fox!” Haha

    • Awww, gimme a chance cher! You know Gambit don like it when you blush like that….

      All the stage’s is under control. Lemme sweep you off your feet. :)

  24. Maybe Josh Holloway can be an alternative to Channing Tatum for the role of Gambit.


  26. I’m excited to see gambit again in the next film but i think the one guy from white collar, Matt Boomer would be a good gambit. he’s got the look.

  27. Taylor kitchs John Carter character was a better portrayal of Gambit then his role in Wolverine as Gambit in origins.

    My main guy for Gambit was Josh Holloway (Lost) but since he is no longer in consideration…Dont really care about Channing tatum playing Gambit. He has the look…but Fox has ruined the x-men universe almost beyond repair that I could really care less…they could get Robert Downey Jr. to play Gambit at this point and my care factor would be virtually non existent.

  28. I just keep wondering again and again why they never put Gambit on the movies and the only answer I can think of is Gambit is too much interesting and too much wild for such a slow dark solid show (it doesn’t mean I don’t love it, in fact it might be the super heroes franchise that I love most). I’m glad that they finally considering giving a chance on the silver screen.

    But, please, if they’re really gonna do it, I hope they would let him be wild. And I don’t see any of those wild factors in Tatum. Tatum’s quite a nice guy but Gambit doesn’t do nice, he’s cool, like super cool.

    Think about an actor that should fit the role, I just can’t get my mind out of Viggo Mortensen. I really wanna see, again, all the charm he gave for that Aragorn role once upon a time. Sadly, the number of his age might be too big for the role.

    Beside Viggo Mortensen, I think Richard Armitage is one guy who can bring justice for the Gambit. I mean, we get used to all the dark part he’s showing on The Hobbit, but I’m sure he can be a funny quirky guy as well, and who doesn’t love a dark funny charming Gambit?

    Another choice? They should really try Gerard Butler!

  29. Hmmm I am not so sure about this… I hated the guy in G.I. Joe, although in all honesty that whole movie sucked, and I didn’t see those acting chops in Side Effects (he hardly does anything in that movie and certainly not memorable).

    Gambit is cool and would deserve a cool guy like Josh Holloway (why is Josh being ignored for movies???).

    As for the standalone movie, I think it is a big gamble very unlikely to pay off. Gambit and Raven are interesting characters indeed, but I think only Wolverine and Deadpool if done right (perhaps also Cable with a good script) could fly solo. All the others need teams to appeal.