Is Channing Tatum Pulling a McConaughey With More Serious Roles?

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Channing Tatum recently received strong reviews for his far more serious turn in the upcoming indie Foxcatcher, and now it seems he has already found his next drama project. The actor is reportedly attached to star in the film adaptation of the bestselling memoir Struck by Genius.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony has picked up the film rights to the book, with Tatum in mind for the potential lead. The story focuses on author Jason Padgett after he became an overnight math prodigy at the age of 31. As recounted in the book, Padgett was an outgoing, partying college dropout when he was randomly attacked outside a bar and suffered a major brain injury — one that would change his life forever. While recovering, Padgett realized that the injury had transformed him into a math whiz and a genuine savant. The discovery resulted in a complete change in personality, as well as issues with PTSD, pain killer addiction, and social anxiety. Eventually, Padgett found a way to cope via art.

The project is still in the early stages of development, so there’s no director or writer attached just yet. While it’s not yet guaranteed that Tatum will star in the film, the movie is being billed as a potential starring vehicle for the actor as of now. Tatum will also reportedly produce the film alongside Reid Carolin (who is also producing Magic Mike XXL with Tatum), Peter Kiernan, and Michael Costigan (the former head of Scott Free Productions, which just finished producing the well-received drama Out of the Furnace).

If he does end up taking the lead, the role would be a marked departure from Tatum’s usual fare. The actor is mostly known for starring in big action flicks, like White House Down and GI Joe, as well as comedies like the Jump Street franchise. But lately, he seems to be making a concentrated effort to take on more serious roles.

In addition to having this potential project in the works, Tatum also recently showed off his more dramatic side in the Bennett Miller-directed Foxcatcher. The movie, which also features Steve Carell, stars Tatum as Mark Schulz, a young wrestler who joins a training center in an effort to earn another Olympic bid. The movie has gotten rave reviews at three film festivals — Cannes, Telluride, and the Toronto Film Festival — as well as unreserved praise for all the major actors, including Tatum.

The flick is already stirring up awards season buzz, with potential Oscar talk surrounding Carell and possibly Tatum. But regardless of whether there’s an Academy Award nomination, it’s obvious that the role will mark a significant and perhaps even defining turning point in Tatum’s career.

With so much positive buzz surrounding him, it only makes sense that Tatum would want to bank off that momentum and find another drama role that once again allows him to show off his acting chops. Should he take the part, Struck by Genius sounds like it could be the right follow-up project to help him continue taking his career to the next level and possibly earn him even more critical acclaim.

In the meantime, the actor is keeping plenty busy. Foxcatcher opens in November and filming for Magic Mike XXL also begins this fall.

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