Earlier this year, X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner said that she wanted to see the mutant Gambit back on screen, and she wanted Channing Tatum to play the role. She explained that she was “dying to do a Gambit movie” with Tatum, and it was just a matter of getting the studio on board. A month ago, Tatum said he had met with Donner and would love to play the role because he’s a huge fan of the character. However, there was still the question of whether or not it would all come together.
Now it’s sounding like Tatum is officially signed on to play the card-slinging cajun. Hit the jump for more. [Update: We’ve added new information after the jump.]
On the red carpet for X-Men: Days of Future Past, Donner was asked by Total Film if Tatum was confirmed to play Gambit, and she said, “Yes.” Donner then went on to explain why she saw Tatum as the popular character:
“Well you know he’s a rogue, Channing. He’s a rascal, just like Remy LeBeau, and he can handle the action, we all know that. He’s got a really good heart, because I know him personally, I did a movie with him. So I think he’ll be great, he’ll be great for Gambit, and he’s a southerner too, he’s not from New Orleans but he is a southerner and he understands that world, and you know Gambit loves New Orleans.”
But will this be for the Gambit standalone movie that Donner wanted? If Tatum is really on board and Gambit is coming back, I think we’ll probably see him in X-Men: Apocalypse since Singer has said he wants to the character in the movie along with Nightcrawler. If Tatum’s take on Gambit is popular with audiences, then a follow-up standalone movie is more likely. [Update: ScreenCrush says Tatum is not attached to Apocalypse, so right now it looks like he’ll be in a stand-alone movie, possibly set for July 13, 2018. Presumably, the character and/or Tatum’s popularity will be big enough by then to carry his own superhero franchise]
2nd: Update: THR’s Borys Kit has tweeted the following:
Yes, Channing Tatum will play Gambit. Yes, it will be for a standalone movie. And yes, watch for him to be introduced in X-MEN: APOCALYPSE.
— Borys Kit (@Borys_Kit) May 13, 2014
Here’s the video of Donner talking about casting Tatum: