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My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Unless you’re not a Channing Tatum fan, in that case, it’s just getting started. For the last couple of years Tatum has been pushing hard to make a Gambit movie happen, with himself in the role of the cajun mutant. Then, this past week there was a media explosion over reports that he was on his way off the project. We can now report that not only is Tatum still involved, his deal is closed. Channing Tatum will be Gambit.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Tatum is now officially on board as Gambit, the other character who was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine that really needed to get his own movie. What’s more, according to the report, the recent rumors that Tatum had left the project were entirely untrue. While there were negotiations ongoing which had apparently hit a "sensitive spot" it wasn’t anything beyond what is normally expected when putting together a deal at this level. So everybody freaked out over nothing. Unless they're just trying to cover the bad press so nobody realizes how close things came to blowing up. 'Cause that never happens.
It looks like backend money was one of the issues, because isn’t it always? In addition, it looks like a big part of the negotiation was figuring out Gambit’s place in the greater X-Men universe. Fox apparently sees Gambit as an anchor character in the X-Men universe, similar to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. This likely meant that Tatum’s deal includes more than just the one film. It looks like wherever the X-Men go following the upcoming Apocalypse will likely also include Gambit. With Jackman set to exit the Wolverine role with the third Wolverine movie it was probably all the more important to Fox to put the deal together but obviously the more films that were in this deal, the more complicated it would be. If they’re looking for somebody to give them a Jackman like commitment, then there was surely a lot of negotiating.
The reports that Tatum was leaving Gambit were more than a little surprising, considering he has been the driving force behind getting the movie made in the first place. Throughout the ongoing quest for a director, which eventually led to Rupert Wyatt, Tatum was there. He’s already spent time working on card tricks and already has a plan for getting the accent right. He really seemed committed to the project.
While we already had suggestions for possible replacements for Channing Tatum, we’ll just put those on the shelf to look back on after the movie comes out. Gambit is set for a fall 2016 release so with the major players now in place, they should be going into production very soon.