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Channing Tatum Confirmed As Gambit -- In...?

At last night's premiere of X-Men: Days of Future Past in London, producer Lauren Shulder-Donner confirmed to Total Film magazine something to send fangirls (and fanboys) squeeing about the X-Franchise. Point blank, she announced Channing Tatum has indeed signed on to play Gambit.

That may mean a major role in the next X-Film, X-Men: Apocalypse, currently on track to be directed by Bryan Singer. The director has mentioned his interest in bringing back Remy LeBeau, who appeared briefly in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, then played by Taylor Kitsch.

But Shuler-Donner has made no secret that she would love to see Gambit get his own solo film, and honestly, in comics, Gambit has worked best in short story arcs set in his home turf of New Orleans. (And lord knows, if Fox allowed a production to shoot there, the city could use the work.)

Tatum has gone on record that Gambit is not only his favorite X-Man, but "...the only X-Man (he's) ever loved." After he takes on the duster of the Cajun mutant, there may be many moviegoers saying the same thing.

In an interview with MTV a few weeks ago, the actor confessed to being in talks and already studying the role. Working on the accent, "...it's crappy at the moment," he confessed.

From fan response, it's likely few will regret the loss of Kitsch in the role. But it's also simple business. Though Kitsch is a pretty good actor, and getting good reviews for roles in the upcoming HBO movie The Normal Heart and the Cinequest opener The Grand Seduction, really all you have to say is Battleship and studios' collective eyes glaze over. (Don't you DARE bring up John Carter.)

Let's take one last look at Taylor Kitsch as the card-throwing, energy shooting X-Man.

Not his fault, but he starred in a string of bombs. At this point, Kitsch would not open a Gambit solo movie. Channing Tatum will.

And the guy has worked hard the last few years, proving himself game in a variety of roles, including one many people may have missed: he was Superman in The LEGO Movie.

Shulder-Donner also acknowledged work on Deadpool (we shall believe that when we see it) and X-Force.

Days of Future Past screenwriter Simon Kinberg this week also put one rumor to rest -- that the Fox reboot of Fantastic Four could not cross over with the X-Universe, essentially because the studio was having the same difficulty I've always had with putting the two franchises together; both are super-powered, but because one group got their abilities in an accident, and weren't born that way, they're loved by the public.

Unlike, of course, the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot.

Derek McCaw

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