Channing Tatum isn’t exactly known as an action star despite having a frame that would suggest he’d be perfect for a certain type of hero role. And though he’s still had his share of fast-paced films, there was definitely one that got away from the actor, something that still bothers him to this day. For a long time, Tatum had a Gambit film in development, one that would have put him in the world of the X-Men. And it really looked like it was going to get made, giving him some mutant powers on the big screen. But ultimately the studio didn’t want to move forward with it and it’s left Tatum more than a little bummed about how it all turned out.
Speaking with Variety this week while promoting his upcoming movie Dog, Channing Tatum described what happened with the Gambit movie he had in the works. The flick was going to follow the character in a stand-alone movie and was set to put a different spin on things than what we had seen in the X-Men universe up to that point. But a few different things conspired against Tatum in getting the movie made. He outlined some of them in the interview and also what the after-effect was on his ability to actually watch current films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
For starters, Channing Tatum said that 20th Century Fox, the studio that had the X-Men rights at the time really didn’t want him or his creative partner, Reid Carolin, to direct the film. Citing that the two didn’t have any directing experience, the studio wanted to bring someone else in who could helm the flick which was based on the script Tatum and Carolin had penned. But another stumbling block was that it was set to have a very raunchy tone to it, something more in line with the Deadpool movies than anything else. And this was giving 20th Century Fox pause as well.
Even with that, it sure looked like they were going to go through with the film and did put it into active development. But then Disney came in and purchased the studio, transferring the rights to the X-Men characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When they did that, one of the first movies to get pushed out was Channing Tatum’s Gambit film. When this happened, Channing Tatum said he was devastated. He told Variety, “I shut off my Marvel machine. I haven’t been able to see any of the movies. I loved that character. It was just too sad. It was like losing a friend because I was so ready to play him.” If that’s hyperbole or he’s actually legit boycotted the entire franchise isn’t quite clear. But it does speak to how much Channing Tatum really wanted the part and how hard they had worked to get the film into production.
Whether Channing Tatum actually ever lands in the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t known. These days, it seems like nearly anyone who’s anyone is joining up for some kind of role in this massive franchise. But it seems like from these quotes that Channing Tatum really only has one character in mind and playing Gambit would also have to be completely on his terms. From that perspective, it looks like a partnership along those lines might not be the cards (get it?).