Channing Tatum is dropping out of Fox’s Gambit movie

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Channing Tatum Just QUIT This Huge Superhero Movie.

Tatum was due to star as the lead in the X-Men spin-off, which he was promoting just recently at San Diego Comic-Con and even wore a Gambit T-shirt during it. It is not unreasonable to presume that the only reason 20th Century Fox is making a Gambit movie is because Channing Tatum expressed interest in the character. I wrote back in January that the notion that an actual movie star was starring in a comic book movie was precisely what made Gambit impressive, and that is still the case. It is unclear whether Tatum and his producing partner Reid Carolin plan to remain involved in a producing capacity, or whether Simon Kinberg and Lauren Shuler Donner will move forward on their own.

Fox, who already had a number of X-Men films, were inspired to start releasing solo movies for their heroes, and set out to release both Deadpool and Gambit films. But now comes news, according to The Wrap, that the deal that snagged him into the role is in jeopardy for undisclosed reasons, and that he may walk away from the picture.

The character was played by Taylor Kitsch – who was once tipped to reprise the role – in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine opposite Hugh Jackman, which was also saw Ryan Reynolds’ debut as Deadpool. Both Remy and Channing come from America’s the deep south; the former from New Orleans, Louisiana; the latter from Alabama before a move to Mississippi. Besides his glowing pink playing cards, long trench coat, bo-staff, finger-less gloves and on/off relationship with Rogue, Gambit’s most recognizeable trait is his thick Cajun accent, a long-time point of amusement among comic fans when his speech is written out phonetically.

Tatum confirmed he was set to play the X-man – as well as the impending release date – on Twitter in January when he posted: ‘How do you say October 7, 2016 in Cajun?’ ‘I would like to play Gambit. The situation with Channing Tatum, which may involve him wanting to do other projects, may involve him being unhappy with the project, or may just be the latest example of negotiating in public, will likely resolve itself in one form or another in the next 72 hours. Tatum had long shown interest in playing the character and said a standalone Gambit film would “change the ‘hero/superhero movie’”, adding “Gambit is not your typical hero.

The character of Gambit, a Cajun thief who can make an explosive charge with any object and has a way with the ladies, is not sufficiently popular enough to justify his own feature, especially not one costing $154 million. Anyway, Gambit is the kind of fan-favorite character, made famous mostly through the 1990’s Fox animated series, who is an added value element to a team-centric X-Men film. That movie, released at the peak of the X-Men film franchise’s popularity and with Hugh Jackman reprising his iconic role, earned $371 million on a $150m budget, although it was not exactly embraced by the fans. I’m sure tossing Gambit into X-Men: Apocalypse or whatever comes next would be a terrific bonus for fans and a major coup in terms of free social media advertising when the time comes. We can debate whether or not the Magic Mike/21 Jump Street star as Gambit is a “star+concept” win, but Fox clearly thought it was and pulled the trigger accordingly.

It would be the equivalent of Fox greenlighting a Mystique movie based on Jennifer Lawrence’s participation and then proceeding even after she departed the project. It’s not that there aren’t talented young men who could pull it off (Dan Stevens comes to mind), but there are painfully few outright box office draws in that demographic. They allegedly have plans to salvage the troubled Fantastic Four reboot (which may open well anyway, by the by) by aligning it with X-Men and bringing Bryan Singer into the Fantastic Four sequel for a potential crossover. The good news is that the well-known history of the project will allow Fox to save face, with a “Well, we greenlit this for Channing and now he’s not involved” excuse not just being reasonable but also basically being true.

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