Hot off the heals of our latest podcast about who should play Gambit after we thought that he might not play the role, THR is now reporting that the two have come to a deal for Tatum to star as the title character’s first solo film. After hearing last week that contract negotiations had hit a rough spot between FOX and Channing Tatum for Gambit, we actually thought for a moment that he might not play the character.
Tatum has been a very vocal proponent of getting the film made since he was first attached to play Gambit back in 2014. He even went as far as to make a surprise appearance at the FOX panel this year, all but confirming that Tatum had locked a deal with the studio to play Gambit. Tatum had gone as far as doing initial preparations to play the character in the Rupert Wyatt-directed film, which is currently in pre-production.
This deal is crucial for the future of the X-Men franchise, as FOX studio heads are hoping that the Gambit standalone film will set the character up to take over for Hugh Jackman after his last turn as Wolverine in that character’s fnal standalone film. If the film is successful, Gambit would be an “anchor” character that would appear in his own films, along with other X-Men films.
After speculation broke that the contract scuffle came from an unexpectedly inflated budget of $154 million, something that seems surprising given Hollywood’s pertinence for big-budget superhero films. With Gambit expected to begin filming in Louisiana this coming October, one of the big “points of contention” for Tatum was exactly how big of a role he would play in the larger universe. The deciding factor apparently was the backend points that Tatum would receive out of the deal.
While I surely think that a Tatum-led Gambit film could shepherd in a new era of possibilities for the X-Men franchise, it could also completely backfire in Fox’s face. What happened with Hugh Jackman and the role of Wolverine was something that was truly special, akin to re-capturing lightning in a bottle. Tatum is certainly no stranger to franchise non-starters, having starred in the failed G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and more recently in the atrocious Jupiter Ascending. Seeing as how this is something that could potentially last a decade or longer, one can understand the hesitance to sign onto films that haven’t even been written yet.
I honestly think that Tatum will do fine in the role. Do I think that there are better choices for the character – yes. But sometimes we have to settle for what we have instead of complaining about what we don’t. What do you think? Are you excited to see Tatum as Gambit? Or do you think that he is miscast? Sound off in the comments below!
Gambit is slated to be released on October 7, 2016.