Channing Tatum to star as X-Men’s Gambit in a solo film?

The X-Men films have performed wonderfully in box offices around the world, and they include those starring the entire team and the solo Wolverine releases. The success might have come as a surprise to Marvel and 20th Century Fox as they quickly killed off many of the prominent figures in the X-Men, most notably Cyclops and Jean Grey. Those deaths might explain why the writers keep going into the past for storylines, such as in the latest movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past.

The only character to be featured in solo films, thus far, has been Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. Both X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Wolverine were massive box office successes. The fan favourite may have been an obvious choice to star in the first solo X-Men films, mostly because his character has branched off from the rest of the X-Men multiple times in the comics.

It’s beginning to look like another fan favourite, one that has been largely ignored by the films thus far with the exception of a brief appearance in Origins, will be getting his first solo film. It was recently announced that Lauren Shuler Donner and Channing Tatum are working on a solo Gambit film.

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Shuler Donner has been a producer in every X-Men film, including the Wolverine ones, and she’s the only person that can claim that honour.

Tatum had stated his interest in playing the Ragin’ Cajun: ‘I guess from being down south – my dad’s from Louisiana, I’m from Mississippi, Alabama, Florida – I don’t know. I just related to him.’

And sure enough, the stars aligned for the action-movie star.

‘It is Channing,’ Shuler Donner answered when asked about the Gambit casting, according to Total Film. ‘He’s a rogue, Channing, he’s a rascal, like Remy LeBeau, and he can handle the action, we all know that.’

The news of Tatum taking on the role of Gambit has received mixed reviews from X-Men fans. Some think that he’s perfect while others would rather see Taylor Kitsch return as Gambit. For those unaware, Kitsch portrayed Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Gambit is known for being savvy, decisive, and confident, which is why he’s one of the most popular X-Men. Those characteristics also are what make him a fantastic poker player. Interestingly enough, the card game is a large part of the character’s lifestyle—he’s been portrayed playing poker many times in the comics. In fact, his opening scene in Origins saw him playing a game of poker.

This isn’t the first time there were talks about making a solo Gambit film. Shortly after the release of Origins, there was much speculation regarding a similar film for Gambit. There were even numerous interviews with Kitsch where he was asked about a solo Gambit film. Unfortunately for the character’s fans, the speculation and excitement never turned into a film.

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Now that Shuler Donner and co. are completely done with Days of Future Past, though, they can officially get started on Gambit’s film. As for Tatum, he’ll need to clear his schedule, because he’s filming The Book of Life and recently announced Magic Mike XXL.

Could this mean Gambit gets his own game, too?

Beyond the films, there’s something else here to look at: Will there be a video game (or series of them) tied to the Gambit movie? Here’s hoping. For anyone who didn’t get a chance to play it, the game tie-in for Wolverine’s Origins film was pretty damn good. Additionally, Days of Future Past received the same treatment, sort of. Interestingly enough, the game is available on smartphones only and it’s actually tied to the actual comics and not the film.

You know, it’s actually on the gaming side of things where Marvel has fallen rather short in its offerings. Sure there have been a few decent Spider-Man games over the years, but DC Comics is definitely winning the battle on this front.

In particular, one can only point to the dark, gripping, and acclaimed Batman: Arkham series, which has been nothing short of brilliant so far. Additionally, DC has lent its characters’ likenesses and narratives to InterCasino, an online gaming platform that accomplishes two things for the comics giant: they reach a different and growing audience while delivering a new take on their classic characters (which also include the Flash and Superman).

Marvel may have what it takes in the world of cinema, but it goes without saying at this point that they could step it up on the gaming front. And with someone as charismatic and bad ass as Gambit leading the pack, the publisher could certainly stand to learn a thing or two from its biggest competitor.

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A well-developed Gambit game – and an expansion to other formats, areas of gaming like DC – could be what Marvel needs to even the playing ground.