Poor Channing Tatum. The actor was all ready to play Gambit in a Marvel movie, and 20th Century Fox—which owned right to the X-Men at that time—was also so certain it was going to happen that they introduced him at 2015’s San Diego Comic-Con as taking on the role.
Sadly, it was never in the cards (sorry, not sorry) for Tatum to play the Marvel mutant. And in a recent interview, Tatum not only shared his feelings about the matter but also why it ended up not happening.
In a recent interview with Variety, Tatum (soon to star in The Lost City, pictured above) opened up about his Gambit experience, including how he wanted to direct the film along with his longtime producing partner Reid Carolin. “The studio really didn’t want us to direct it,” Tatum shared. “They wanted anybody but us, essentially, because we had never directed anything.”
Fair point, Fox! The film would also be in the tone of Deadpool and have an R-rating to match it. The theme of the film would have been “a romantic-comedy superhero movie,” according to Carolin, with the premise being that “the only thing harder than saving the world is making a relationship work.”
At one point Tatum and Carolin agreed to step away from directing if it would pave the road to the romantic-comedy superhero film being made. That got them very, very close to production, but then the Fox-Disney merger happened and Gambit got shuffled to the wayside.
When Gambit got axed, Tatum got really bummed out, so much so that he still can’t watch any of the Marvel films. “I shut off my Marvel machine,” he said. “I haven’t been able to see any of the movies. I loved that character. It was just too sad. It was like losing a friend because I was so ready to play him.”
Still, Tatum said he would love to get the chance to play the character down the road if the opportunity arose. Whether we’ll see Gambit in the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains to be seen, but if so, Tatum might eventually get his wish.