This is pretty much X-Men movie news week, starting with big reveals for X-Men: Days of Future Past (which are explained in the video down below), but also looking well beyond Fox's pivotal (and risky) entry into the shared movie universe model, which is earning billions in box office revenue for Marvel Studios.
If you haven't caught up, check out our full X-Men movie coverage, but even if you're new to this geek party, this news will probably raise your eyebrow: X-Men movie producer Lauren Shuler is teasing that she has none other than Channing Tatum in the bag to play Gambit, in a solo movie presumably set within the expanded X-Men universe.
Empire has been rolling out the X-Men movie headlines all week, so it makes sense that the magazine has this explosive quote from Shuler:
"I'm dying to do a Gambit movie with Channing Tatum. That doesn't have to be a great big movie. It's a thief in New Orleans, it's a whole different story. He's on board, and I have to get the studio on board. How can anyone resist Channing? He's such a sweetheart."
Tatum has previously gone on record to say he'd love to play Gambit, and since he is probably THE hot leading man of the moment, it makes sense that Shuler would listen.
For all the continued (and by now, baffling) hate that he gets, Tatum has practically acted his way all across the board - drama, romance, action, thriller, comedy, man-beef erotica - and surprised critics almost every time. So while at first it may be hard for a cynical mind to imagine Duke from G.I. Joe rockin' a Cajun accent, it could done, I guess..
Tatum is about to crash the sci-fi/geek genre in a big way with this year's Jupiter Ascending, the new film from The Wachowskis (Matrix Trilogy), so provided he surprises again, he could be in just the right place for a big X-Men movie debut. The question now is: When would we get this Gambit movie?
Days of Future Past hits theaters this summer, then X-Men: Apocalypse arrives in 2016; X-Force and other projects (like Deadpool) are still on deck, so if Fox follows the Marvel model and releases multiple films per year in the X universe, then it all really depends on scheduling with Tatum.
It's a good sign that Shuler is talking a smaller scale of film. Tatum has done plenty of that (see: Haywire) and really, Gambit's story of coming up in the world of Thieves Guild vs. Assassin's Guild rivalry is probably something you could do in the style and budget of Haywire ($23million) - with the added inflation of all those mutant powers and such (so let's say... $50 million). Who knows? with a headlining actor, modest budget and a different (darker?) sort of tone... maybe this safer bet would provide way for Deadpool to finally get his day?
Of course, the presence of Taylor Kitsch in X-Men Origins: Wolverine would mean yet another continuity snag to clean up. Bryan Singer and writer Simon Kinberg better pull off some time travel acrobatics in Days of Future Past in order to get this all straightened out.
WATCH: Breakdown of X-Men: Days of Future Past Characters
Look for X-Men: Days of Future Past when it opens in 2D and 3D theaters on May 23rd, 2014.