A few days after this story flooded the net, the situation found a happy resolution. While it was indeed true that snags had been encountered while ironing out his deal with Fox, Channing Tatum is now officially signed up for Gambit. The primary issue, according to The Hollywood Reporter, was scheduling and- of course- payment. Scheduling is tough because Tatum is very in demand these days, yet Fox wants his Gambit to become a centerpiece of their X-Universe- especially since the current face of it (Hugh Jackman) is preparing to retire his claws.
THR also says that he was never in any real danger of exiting the picture, as he has been quite invested in the project for some time. There were issues with the deal, they worked it out, and now we’re back at square one: Channing Tatum is officially the new Gambit.
For a while there, it seemed like everything was coming up Millhouse on the “Gambit” flick. In true Ryan Reynolds style, we had Channing Tatum spearheading the project for the badass, card-throwing mutant. Soon after, director Rupert Wyatt (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”) signed on to helm the 20th Century Fox project, quashing any fears fans had of the production not being able to find a director. Finally, it was confirmed that the “Gambit” movie would be working on a generous budget of $150 million, which is quite a hefty sum for a project that seemed to be going more for a low-key vibe (hat tip to Screen Rant).
Of course, you know it’s not a movie production unless things fall apart at least once, and the “Gambit” film may, in fact, may be reaching that very point. A report from TheWrap that Tatum may be on the verge of dropping out of the project altogether, though it’s unclear as the reason why.
The studio had been in the process of testing young actresses to star alongside Tatum, including Lea Seydoux, but insiders suggest that director Rupert Wyatt will soon have to find a new leading man.
Though, don’t give up hope just yet. The report also states that Tatum’s reps are still in active discussions with the studio, so there’s still a chance this could blow over. That being said, there still seems to be some kind of conflict going on, but what that something is anyone’s guess.
The likeliest of problems is within the story itself. Up until that budget report a few days back, it was largely accepted that Gambit would be a much smaller scale film than your standard “X-Men” fare. But with a budget of $150 million, clearly this wouldn’t be the case. This is all speculation, but is it possible that in an attempt to link to the “X-Men” films that this became a less Gambit-centric movie than originally planned? At this point in the game, Fox may be getting cold feet to center on a character few people outside of comic book fandom would recognize, so a change in direction is understandable. But as the lead in the picture, this could be a direction Tatum did not want to take the film.
Another potential conflict could be as simple as scheduling. Tatum is a hot commodity these days, so there are likely a lot of films vying for his attention. The only problem with that theory is that as one of the producers, you’d think he would’ve had a solid idea of the potential time commitment and schedule a while back.
Either way, the film is slated for an October 7, 2016 release, so if they want to make that date, they’ll have to resolve this within the next month or so.
What do you think about all this? Do you think Tatum will actually exit the project? If so, who do you think Fox would get to take his place?