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For several years, actor Channing Tatum has been attached to play the popular mutant Gambit in a solo X-Men spinoff. But after an extended stay in development hell, followed by Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox, Gambit has been shelved, effectively putting an end to the prospect of seeing Channing Tatum throwing energized playing cards on the big screen. That film was dealt a bad hand, but now after Gambit’s delays, Channing Tatum has finally found a different comic book adaptation to work on.
Channing Tatum and producer Roy Lee are teaming up to bring the cult comic The Maxx to the screen, according to THR. The actor is set to produce the project via his Free Association production company alongside Reid Karolin and Peter Kiernan. They will team with Roy Lee, who will produce The Maxx through his Vertigo Entertainment label, which just this year produced IT Chapter Two and Doctor Sleep.
Unlike Gambit, in which Channing Tatum was set to star, at the moment he is just attached as a producer on The Maxx. And with The Maxx, he will be taking on something that is quite different from Marvel’s mutants. The Maxx was a comic book series created, written and illustrated by Sam Kieth. First published through Image Comics in 1993, Sam Kieth’s comic tells the story of The Maxx, a hero who exists in both the real world and an alternate reality dream world called The Outback.
In the real world, the Maxx is a homeless man living in a box. In the dream world, which is just as real to him as the real world, he is a masked hero who protects the Jungle Queen. The Jungle Queen’s real world analog is a social worker named Julie Winters, who is unaware of the connection she and the homeless man share.
Although The Maxx’s original 35-issue run ended in 1998, Sam Kieth recently revisited the character for the Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams miniseries (cue the Battinson/Maxx crossover talk). In addition to creating The Maxx at Image, Sam Kieth has worked for both DC and Marvel over the years and he will serve as a producer on this new screen adaptation.
Interestingly, other than the fact that it is happening, we don’t yet know what this adaptation of The Maxx will be. Namely, it isn’t clear at present whether The Maxx will be a feature film or some kind of series. Free Association and Vertigo Entertainment producers are meeting with writers and filmmakers to determine the best approach for the material.
This will not be The Maxx’s first adaptation, as the property was previously turned into a 13-episode MTV series back in 1995. You can check out the trailer for that below:
Seeing this cult classic getting an updated treatment is pretty cool, as it sounds very different from more traditional superhero fare and a great rebuttal to the 'safe' accusations made about the genre by Martin Scorsese. I’m not sure whether a movie or a series would work better, but given the weirdness of something like Legion, another weird property like The Maxx may be better suited and able to find its audience in a streaming format.
We’ll keep you updated on The Maxx as news develops. In the meantime, check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what’s headed to theaters next year.