Channing Tatum’s ‘Gambit’: Where the ‘X-Men’ Spin-Off Stands Now

Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images

Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images

Despite recent speculation to the contrary, Channing Tatum is (still) Gambit. Though a report last week claimed that the actor was on the verge of leaving the project, it looks like that was all just a bad rumor. As The Hollywood Reporter reports, Tatum has now closed a deal to play the mutant role in Fox’s upcoming X-Men spin-off.

According to THR, Tatum and the studio did hit a rough patch during the negotiation process, but his participation in the role was never in real jeopardy as speculation suggested. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, as most audiences know that Tatum has already invested a lot in the project. The actor has been attached to play the character for several years and his public support of the film was a huge part of moving the film forward. This summer, he even showed up at Fox’s panel at Comic-Con, posing for pictures with the casts of Wolverine, X-Men: Apocalypse, Fantastic Four and Deadpool.

Though the actor’s participation seemed all but official, there were still a few kinks to be worked out before it was a done deal. As is par for the course with high-profile talent, Tatum went back and forth with the studio over several issues, including back-end compensation. The length of Tatum’s commitment to the franchise also needed to be figured out. Per THR, Fox wants Gambit to be a major character in the X-Men universe, one that can appear in ensemble movies and also star in his own spin-offs. As Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine has shown us, that’s a big commitment that can last over a decade.

Despite these sticking points, Tatum was able to come to an agreement with the studio and the actor is now officially locked into the role that he’s long since been championing for.

“He always felt the most real of the X-Men to me. He’s kind of a tortured soul and he’s not a good guy. But he’s not a bad guy, either. He walks his own path. And of course he plays cards and drinks and is a martial-arts badass!” the actor once told Empire Magazine of the character.

Now that Gambit has its star on lock, audiences will have to stay tuned to hear more details about the film’s storyline. As comic fans know, Gambit is a card-slinging mutant with the ability to imbue objects with explosive kinetic power. Though specifics about the plot of the upcoming solo film haven’t been revealed, the character won’t be your typical, squeaky clean hero, if Tatum has anything to do with it.

“We’re going to be changing some of the tropes of these movies. It’s always about saving the world (Laughs), but maybe we’re going to shift things a little bit,” Tatum said of the script back in May.

In addition to starring in the film, Tatum will also serve as a producer on the movie alongside Reid Carolin, Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg. Meanwhile, Rupert Wyatt, the director of Fox’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, will helm Gambit. Josh Zetumer penned the script for the project, based on a treatment by Gambit co-creator Chris Claremont.

Gambit is expected to start shooting this fall and is currently scheduled to hit theaters on October 7, 2016.

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