Hollywood heartthrob Channing Tatum has been talking about his hopes of playing fan-favorite X-Men hero Gambit — perhaps in his own film — more than a year ago, though at the time it was more of a dream than a concrete plan. When producer Lauren Shuler Donner also expressed interest in Tatum for the role, it seemed there was fire to the smoke. Then, prior to the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past, the actor’s starring role in a solo Gambit film was confirmed.
Since then Gambit has had its spotlight stolen by Fox’s other, recently-resurrected solo superhero film, Deadpool, arriving in early 2016 before X-Men: Apocalypse. But while doing the press rounds for his new film, The Book of Life, Tatum offered a brief update on the status of his solo X-Men movie.
In an interview with MTV News, Tatum said he’s working with producers on the story for the Gambit film (still in its early stages) while they continue to look for a scriptwriter. He also mentioned that they want to do a “fresh” take on the character and origin story-style superhero film, but wouldn’t offer specifics.
Read Tatum’s full quote:
“I don’t want to give too much away because we don’t know that much right now other than…we obviously know who Gambit is. We really do want to try our hardest to give something fresh. We’re obviously going to go to the saving the world superhero movies eventually, but maybe not for the first one.
“We want to introduce this character in a very different way. You know, when you try to do something different you never really know, right off the bat, what that is. We’re feeling our way, and really just kind of proving the concept of that person.”
In terms of a fresh superhero origin story movie, Gambit will have its work cut out for itself. Many moviegoers — even those who wouldn’t consider themselves fans of superhero films — have seen several different iterations of an origin story by this point, perhaps even more than once for the same hero. That’s one reason why superhero films may need to turn to team-ups or event films in order to be fruitful for studios, not to mention entertain fans who may grow tired of seeing one first-act story after another.
However, while The Avengers or the X-Men franchises may offer a hint at the direction in which the superhero genre is heading, there are still solo origin story movies slated to debut over the next few years: Deadpool, Ant-Man, and Doctor Strange, to name a few others from the Marvel canon (not to mention the half-dozen coming from DC).
Though some fans may be sick of origin story films, these movies will, at worst, introduce new characters to their respective cinematic universes – and, at best, offer a refreshingly entertaining superhero movie experience. Where do you think Gambit will land? Is this the beginning of another solo franchise for Fox, or do you have your concerns?
Stay tuned for more updates on Gambit as it becomes available.