Producer Lauren Shuler Donner spoke about the character at the “X-Men: Days of Future Past” premiere in London.
“He’s a rogue, Channing — he’s a rascal, just like Remy LeBeau. And he can handle the action, we all know that,” she told Total Film. “And he’s got a really good heart … I think he’ll be great for Gambit.”
Donner added, “And he’s a southerner too … he understands that world, and you know Gambit loves New Orleans.”
Tatum is following in the footsteps of Hugh Jackman, who has headlined two standalone “Wolverine” spinoffs, with a third currently set for release in 2017. The critically derided “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (which featured Taylor Kitsch as Gambit) grossed $373 million worldwide, while 2013’s “The Wolverine” drew approximately $415 million and fared better among pundits.
Tatum had previously expressed interest in the role, telling MTV, “Gambit is the only X-Man I’ve ever loved. I mean, I’ve loved them all, they’re all great, but I guess just being from down South; my dad’s from Louisiana, I’m from Mississippi, Alabama, Florida. I don’t know, I just related to him … I would die to play him.”
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Donner recently hinted at plans for Gambit and Deadpool (played by Ryan Reynolds in “X-Men Origins”) to star in their own spinoffs, while screenwriter Simon Kinberg expressed desire for Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique to receive a solo outing too.
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” opens in theaters on May 23. A planned sequel, “X-Men: Apocalypse” is scheduled for release on May 27, 2016.