With X-Men: Days of Future Past arriving in theaters soon, there’s been no shortage of speculation regarding the future of the X-Men franchise. This week brought news that, in addition to the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, the popular mutant Gambit will get his own solo film starring Magic Mike actor Channing Tatum.
After recent reports had surfaced that Tatum was not only interested in playing the mutant thief with an affinity for explosive card tricks but actually meeting with the studio to discuss the role, Total Film received confirmation of Tatum landing the role during a Days of Future Past premiere event.
“It’s Channing,” confirmed X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner when asked what kind of actor is being considered for Gambit, who made his debut in a 1990 issue of Uncanny X-Men and went on to become one of the most popular new characters from the ’90s era of comics.
“Well you know, he’s a rogue — Channing — he’s a rascal, just like Remy LeBeau,” Shuler Donner said of Tatum’s qualifications for the role. “And he can handle the action, we all know that! And he’s got a really good heart.”
A mutant with the ability to convert an object’s potential energy into kinetic energy — effectively adding an explosive “charge” to the object — the Louisiana-born thief Remy LeBeau was portrayed by actor Taylor Kitsch in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tatum is expected to make his debut as Gambit in X-Men: Apocalypse, the follow-up to Days of Future Past.
“He’ll be great for Gambit,” added Shuler Donner. “and he’s a Southerner, too! He’s not from New Orleans, but he is a Southerner, and he understands that world.”