Whatever opinion you may have about Channing Tatum, you can’t deny that the man is doing his best to prepare for Gambit. He’s already started learning from a magician the fine art of throwing playing cards, Gambit’s weapon of choice. With production set to begin near the end of the year, Tatum’s next goal is to nail down the character’s infamous accent, and he’s formulated a plan to make sure the X-Men card shark’s voice sounds authentic.

While promoting Magic Mike XXL, Tatum told Digital Spy that rather than come up with an accent on his own, he will find someone to model the accent after for Gambit, which will likely involve a trip to Louisiana. Said Tatum:
I’m from the South, so I know who to go to to find the accent. I haven’t found the guy yet, because generally, that’s how I do accents. Like, I’ll find the person that I want to sound like and not just do a generic Cajun accent.

Of course, hardcore comic book fans know that Gambit’s Cajun heritage is a key aspect of his character. In the comics, Remy LeBeau grew up on the streets of New Orleans, stealing to survive until he was taken in by the Thieves’ Guild. In every one of his appearances outside of the comics, the accent has been retained, most notably in the 1990s X-Men animated series. Tatum’s predecessor, Taylor Kitsch, pulled off the Cajun dialect for a while in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, although in several scenes he drifted back to his normal voice. Since this movie is serving as Gambit’s reintroduction (contrary to popular belief, he is not appearing in X-Men: Apocalypse), it’s crucial that Tatum do his homework.

Gambit Channing Tatum

Gambit is the third X-Men character to get a spinoff film, and unlike Ryan Reynolds, who briefly showed off his Deadpool (or rather, Wade Wilson) in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Tatum hasn’t given fans a sneak peek of what his Gambit will be like. That makes it all the more important for every piece of the ensemble, from the look and voice to the card tricks and staff fighting, to be in place and well done. Since the film is over a year away, it will be awhile until we see a trailer or leaked footage of him breathing life into the Ragin’ Cajun, but nevertheless, it’s good to see he’s taking his preparation for the role seriously.

Gambit hits theaters on October 7, 2016, and will be directed by Rise of the Planet of the ApesRupert Wyatt.

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