Fox’s X-Men franchise lasted for well over two decades, and was largely successful despite how it ended. Even the movies that seemed like they were never going to happen, eventually did. There was a time when it looked like we would never get a solo Wolverine film, and yet we got three. Deadpool was dead as a doorknob but has grown to be a huge hit franchise, and of course The New Mutants got made for better or worse. But one film that never could get off the ground? Gambit, with Channing Tatum as the ragin’ Cajun mutant.
Tatum had circled the role of the smooth talkin’, kinetic card chargin’ X-Man for years before finally being announced for the role at San Diego Comic-Con, joining the entire franchise cast on stage. But at every turn, the Gambit film was hit with delays; multiple directors came and went, to the point that Tatum considered directing it himself.
But now, Tatum has come to the realization that Gambit is probably never going to happen. Shit, he’s long since aged out of the role, anyway. He tells Vanity Fair...
“It got swallowed up into Disney by way of Marvel when they bought Fox, and ultimately I just think that the tone of the movie we wanted to make was very far from what they wanted to do—or, you know, maybe they’re waiting to see how they do it with us or without us. We call every once in a while, but we’ve got to spiritually, emotionally, kind of mentally let it go.”
Let’s be honest, Disney/Marvel have their own X-men plans that probably involve an uber-popular character like Gambit. Doubtful they’ve got room for whatever Tatum’s vision was going to be for the character, which is sad because I was really hyped for it back in the day. Gambit was once the hottest character in all of Marvel. That was a long time ago, but there’s still potential for him to be huge on the big screen with the right casting and in the right movie.
Tatum hasn’t been hurting for stuff to do. Next month he’ll star in Magic Mike’s Last Dance, wrapping up the franchise of his own creation.