Sometime in the next few years, Marvel Studios will finally have the opportunity to introduce the fabled X-Men into the MCU alongside Earth's Mightiest Heroes. While it's still unknown how this will come about, multiple projects are already slowly coming together behind the scenes in this regard. From Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool 3 to the oft-discussed The Mutants, these powerful heroes are already set to make their mark.
Part of the mystery behind the X-Men is which other new entries will actually go into production for Marvel Studios, particularly since there were some in early development before Marvel's acquisition of 20th Century Fox Studios.
One exciting addition was Channing Tatum's Gambit, which was initially set to release in theaters in March 2020 before the merger put anything X-Men-related on the backburner. The character made his only live-action appearance to date in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine alongside Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds, although Tatum couldn't take the role due to scheduling conflicts.
Even with Gambit still waiting for a chance to go into production, Tatum remains highly interested in bringing the New Orleans-based thief to life, especially now that it would be in the MCU.
Recently, the action star reminisced on what was originally planned for the character in that solo movie that never came to be.
Channing Tatum Defends Deadpool-Style Gambit Movie
In an interview with Variety, actor Channing Tatum looked back to what could have been with his planned solo Gambit movie that never went into production. This was a film that he spent four years developing with longtime producing partner Reid Carolin as a "raunchy stand-alone movie" similar to Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool.
When first pitching it to 20th Century Fox, Tatum admitted that the studio had no intention of letting him and Carolin direct the movie since they "had never directed anything before:"
“The studio really didn’t want us to direct it... They wanted anybody but us, essentially, because we had never directed anything.”
Having co-written the script with Carolin, Tatum defended his take on the character simply due to how fun he was going to be in the movie. Describing him as "the coolest person" who "could pull of anything," Tatum loved that Gambit simply did what he thought was "fly" rather than being a "utilitarian" kind of superhero:
“They would call him ‘flamboyant’ in his description. I wouldn’t — he was just the coolest person. He could pull anything off. Most superheroes, their outfits are utilitarian. Batman’s got his belt. Gambit’s like, ‘No, this shit’s just fly, bro! This shit walked down the Paris runway last year.’ He’s just wearing the stuff that’s so dope because he loves fashion.”
Looking at what style of movie Gambit was, Tatum and Carolin were planning to bring something that would have resembled 2016's R-rated Deadpool: a "romantic comedy superhero movie:"
“We wanted to make a romantic comedy superhero movie. The thesis was the only thing harder than saving the world is making a relationship work.”
The duo came nearly within inches of going into production with the cast already lined up and offices open for business. Carolin confirmed that the team was already en route to New Orleans to shoot Gambit before it was canceled:
“We were right on the one-yard line. We had cast the film. We’d opened up a production office. We were on our way to shoot in New Orleans.”
Gambit Taking Notes from Deadpool
Although Deadpool and Gambit are quite different as seen in both Marvel's comics and movies, it appears that Tatum was set to run with the kind of film that Reynolds had introduced in 2016.
Even with the countless F-bombs and gratuitous violence in Deadpool, Wade Wilson literally described the film as "a love story" in the opening scene. Moving on to show the antics between Wade and his girlfriend Vanessa during his superhero journey, the R-rated hit proved that claim to be true, and it seems as though Gambit was going to attempt a similar kind of story.
Nearly three years after Gambit faced cancelation, Tatum appears as passionate as ever about what he wanted to bring to the card table as the New Orleans-based thief. In a script that explored his extravagant mannerisms and cool nature, the New Orleans-born star loved the idea of bringing that kind of romance and raunchiness into the superhero genre.
Now that Marvel is slowly working to bring the X-Men into the MCU, it's uncertain if Tatum will be in the running to play Marvel Studios' take on Gambit in future movies. The actor could find a way to get involved with the character even if he doesn't play Gambit on screen, but with the mutants so far out, fans will have to keep waiting for more info on the matter.