In news that has the Internet in a tizzy, Channing Tatum has taken a meeting about playing Gambit, the drinking, gambling, thieving, womanizing X-Man from New Orleans. We know that producer Lauren Shuler Donner has been pushing for a standalone Gambit movie with Tatum in the lead for awhile, and Tatum has spoken publicly about how much he would love to play the character before. But with an official meeting, it sounds like things might be inching forward.
Gambit is definitely a fan favorite, but he hasn’t been used in any of the X-Men movies yet. We aren’t counting X-Men Origins: Wolverine, in which he made a brief appearance played by Taylor Kitsch. I think we’ve all agreed to pretend that movie never happened, right? If the project moves forward, the plan is to make a standalone film about the character, and to make it on a smaller scale than most X-Men movies.
Tatum told an MTV reporter about the meeting before the MTV Movie Awards. Here’s the relevant quote:
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.
So he’s already working on the accent. It seems like he has his hopes up that this is going to happen. I am fairly immune to Tatum’s charms, but it would be interesting to see what he can bring to the character. And honestly, this seems like a no-brainer for Fox. Their other breakout X-Men star is Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, and he is quickly aging out of the role. Love him or think he looks like a thumb, Tatum is a big star, and if the studio can make a medium budget solo movie a hit, it would be easy enough to fold him into the larger X-Men universe. I would love to see a good caper film built around an X-Man. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this project come together fairly quickly.
The full video is below.