Channing Tatum will play Gambit in X-MEN: APOCALYPSE before getting a solo movie

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Oui oui, mon ami! After campaigning to play everybody’s favourite red-eyed, card throwing mutant for a while now, it looks like Channing Tatum just got his wish. The Magic Mike star had stated on multiple occasions that being a Southerner himself, the Cajun hero Gambit had always been his favourite of all the X-Men, and that he would love to tackle the role. Longtime X-Men producer Laura Shuler-Donner had also indicated that she was in favour of the idea, so really it was only a matter of time before something formal happened.

Well, that time is now, as earlier this morning Shuler-Donner officially stated that Tatum has the gig, when asked about it by Total Film:

“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.”

I used to despise Tatum, as the early part of his career essentially saw him merely as a younger Keanu Reeves, only with better dance moves and a six pack and even less acting ability. But somewhere between 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike, Tatum started finding his groove, letting his natural charisma shine through, and all of a sudden he had made a fan out of me.

So now, I actually think he could be great for the role (definitely better than Taylor Kitsch’s attempt in X-Men Origins: Wolverine at least) as he actually is a reasonably good match physically. He just needs to nail Gambit’s signature accent and cadence. Also, learning to throw cards certainly wouldn’t hurt.

If you recall correctly, director Bryan Singer had previously teased the inclusion of some fan favourite mutants in X-Men: Apocalypse, Gambit being amongst them. And according to THR, not only will Channing’s version of the Cajun mutant debut in the upcoming sequel, but his appearance will also set up a solo spinoff film further down the line. The solo film is still very early in development though, with no writer or director attached yet, but it could be that this is actually the “Untitled FOX Marvel Movie” that the studio has on their release schedule for July 18, 2018.

Or it just could be the other secret movie that Fox is working on. What other secret movie, you ask? Well, the one that Shuler-Donner also revealed when she was asked if there were any other X-Men stories she wanted to tell.

“There’s one I’m really itching to tell you about but I can’t. You’re gonna like it though. I guarantee you. It’s really different, but you’re going to like it.”

According to THR, this film is already in development, but Fox has just been keeping it very secretive until now. We already know about Jeff Wadlow’s X-Force, and Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool has been (stuck) in development (hell) forever now, so what movie could it possibly be?

Whatever it is, it looks like the X-Men franchise will be very busy over the next few years, and having one of Hollywood’s most successful leading men anchoring one part of it, certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Last Updated: May 14, 2014

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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