Channing Tatum talks GAMBIT solo movie; a "different" origin story

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If you had told the me from 5 years ago that in the future he would not only be typing out the name “Channing Tatum” and not immediately either snigger in derision or facepalm at his ineptitude, but possibly even look forward to his movies, 2010 me would have slapped you. Hard. But a couple of Jump Streets, some Magic Mikes and White House Down later and here we are: Tatum is a bona fide Hollywood leading man, as unlikely as it may have seemed at one point.

And for his next big gig, Tatum is going to start ragin’ like a Cajun as he brings to life fan-favourite comic book character Gambit aka Remy Le Beau in Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse. Following that though, Tatum will be headlining a solo movie focusing on the card-carrying-throwing mutant, and according to what the actor told Empire, this won’t be your typical superhero movie.

“Josh Zetumer just turned in the first draft of the script, and it’s killer. None of us were sure how he was going to deal with the X-Men world. But we’re going to be changing some of the tropes of these movies. It’s always about saving the world (laughs), but maybe we’re going to shift things a little bit. There’s so many ways you can take [an origin story]. You could do it like ‘Batman Begins,’ or a different take and go the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ route. All I can say is, I’m super excited.”

I’m hoping this means that they’re going to be digging more into Gambit’s past as a member/leader of the Thieves Guild and his dubious dealings with Mister Sinister. There’s a lot of history there – some of it very morally ambivalent – that could make for a very good superhero redemption story.

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In other news, I learned something interesting about Tatum yesterday: As a youngster he was very much into martial arts, training for years in capoeira and different types of kung fu (so, yes, he can do more than just dance and look goofy). And all of that is going to come in handy when playing the character. That and the fact that he’s pretty familiar with Gambit’s Cajun heritage.

“I love Gambit. I grew up in the South; my father’s from Louisiana. We’d go to New Orleans and I heard all the dialects. It felt so different from the rest of America; it has its own ancient culture. So I identified with that. And he always felt the most real of the X-Men to me. He’s kind of a tortured soul and he’s not a good guy. But he’s not a bad guy, either. He walks his own path. And of course he plays cards and drinks and is a martial-arts badass!”

At this point in time, I’m really intrigued to see what Tatum can do as Gambit. The last (and only) time the character was on-screen, was Taylor Kitsch’s pretty lacklustre portrayal of him in the abortive X-Men Origins: Wolverine. So yeah, surpassing that really shouldn’t be too much hassle. It’s all going to come down to that trademark accent and “ladies’ man” swagger though. If Tatum can nail that, he’ll be golden. Sticking him in a brown trench coat wouldn’t hurt either.

There are currently no directors attached to Gambit yet, but expect that to change soon as the movie is scheduled for October 7, 2016.

Last Updated: May 27, 2015

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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