See Channing Tatum’s Canceled Gambit Movie In Newly Revealed Photos
Concept art by Anthony Winn shows Channing Tatum as a depressed, isolated Gambit.
For many years, Channing Tatum and his frequent collaborator and Magic Mike screenwriter Reid Carolin worked to develop a solo movie focused on the fan-favorite X-Men character Gambit. Those plans never came to fruition and it seems that Channing Tatum has moved on from his dream of playing the card-throwing mutant, but some evidence of the project existed. Storyboard artist Anthony Winn has released concept art for the movie, hinting that it might have been intended to be a moody character piece.
As you can see above, the black and white images posted by Anthony Winn show Channing Tatum in character as Gambit (aka Remy LeBeau), apparently in a contemplative/surly mood. In the first image in the set pictures, the X-Men member is sitting on the open gate of a pickup truck; he appears to be in a deserted rural area, surrounded by bare trees and a small, rickety-looking shack.
The second image of the set shows Channing Tatum/Gambit staring at the bottle in his hand, which has a blurred label but is definitely coded as Bulleit Bourbon. It seems clear the implication is that Gambit has been drinking alone and is isolated for some reason.
The third image of the set brings color into the monochrome setting, shifting to a close-up of Channing Tatum’s Gambit lifting the empty bottle to his glowing red eyes. In Marvel Comics, Gambit’s best-known mutant power is his ability to charge inanimate objects with kinetic energy, which causes them to blow up on impact. That seems to be what is going on in this situation, as the fourth image then depicts Channing Tatum’s Gambit hurling the bottle, causing a powerful explosion.
To date, Gambit has only appeared in one live-action feature film, 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which is generally regarded as one of the weakest entries in the franchise, currently holding a 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. While the movie has been referenced as recently as 2018’s Deadpool 2 (in which Ryan Reynolds traveled back in time to kill that movie’s little-loved version of Deadpool), there seemed to be little interest in bringing its take on Gambit, played by Taylor Kitsch, to more movies.
In theory, the failure of Taylor Kitsch to make an impact with the character should have freed him up for a Channing Tatum version of the heavily accented, bo staff-wielding mutant. Apparently, Tatum began developing the film in the mid-2010s, when he was breaking out as an A-list star via the success of the G.I. Joe action franchise, Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike, the prestige drama Foxcatcher, and collaborations with Quentin Tarantino and the Coen Brothers.
According to Channing Tatum himself, his Gambit film was doomed in large part due to his insistence that it be directed by himself and Reid Carolin, with 20th Century Fox being unwilling to hand the task to two untested filmmakers. It is interesting to wonder what the movie might have become, based on the artwork from Anthony Winn, but it seems we shall never know if we were getting depressive, Logan-like Gambit or party-hearty New Orleans Gambit.