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The 20th Century Fox superhero properties are in limbo at the moment. Disney and Fox are heading toward a merger that will see the latter's properties, from a creative and business standpoint, shift to the former. So blue-chip titles like The X-Men, Deadpool and The Fantastic Four await status on their ultimate fate. Smaller projects are even more deeply affected by this situation, with many wondering where and when they might happen. Channing Tatum's long-gestating Gambit falls into that niche, though new word suggests that if and when the movie happens, Tatum may direct himself in the part.
Channing Tatum has been attached to a Gambit movie for as long as we can remember, though the director's chair on the project has been a legitimate revolving door of candidates who have come and gone. However, buried in a Deadline story over the weekend is this nugget. As the trade reports Tatum leaving his reps at UTA and Management 360, Deadline notes that there is "buzz" that Tatum might want to helm the Gambit movie, even though it's still being worked on.
Sure... why not? I mean, if everyone else is passing, then it's time for Channing Tatum to simply do what no one else wants to do. He seems to have a vision for the infamous X-Men character. He has allowed the Gambit movie to stay afloat when many others tried to pull its plug. If he's the right person for the job, then maybe it's time for him to show it.
You could make the argument that Channing Tatum hasn't directed anything yet. And that's true. But there's a laundry list of actors who have turned to directing after shadowing some incredible filmmakers. On the small scale, Jonah Hill made his directorial debut in 2018 with the semi-autobiographical Mid90s. And of course, Bradley Cooper blast into the stratosphere as a storyteller last year with A Star is Born.
Could Channing Tatum be the next Bradley Cooper? He has worked with some brilliant directors over the years, from Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh and Bennett Miller to Joel and Ethan Coen. So yeah, if he absorbed anything from them, he'd be able to apply it to Gambit. Also, so many non-blockbuster talents are getting their shots in the superhero realm, from David F. Sandberg (Shazam!) to Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Captain Marvel).
The bigger issue facing Gambit is that no one knows what will happen to these projects once Fox merges with Disney. Right now, Fox has Dark Phoenix and New Mutants on its release schedule for later this year. Beyond that, I could see X-Force and Deadpool 3 happening long before Gambit got off the ground. And the recent news on those projects was... not great.
Maybe Channing Tatum was just putting his name out there for Disney to hear, so that they'd know his interest level when they had a conversation about what to do with Gambit. But if I was Marvel Studios (not that they need my advice), I'd wait to reintroduce Gambit in an MCU proper X-Men movie somewhere down the line, instead of trying to force a solo Gambit movie now.
Want to know what's happening in the MCU? Then bookmark our Upcoming Marvel Movies Guide. That's where news about Gambit and future Fox/Disney movies likely will break.