Turns out, it was a bluff. A report this week that Channing Tatum had withdrawn from the upcoming Gambit film caused fans of the Magic Mike star and the X-Men series to fear the film was falling apart.
Now, the Fox confirms to EW that there’s no cause for alarm: Tatum has signed his paperwork, and the card-slinging mutant will be headed to the big screen.
Sources close to the film say the 21 Jump Street actor’s involvement was never in serious jeopardy. He had already openly committed to the role, and his cheerleading for the film as both a public spokesman and behind the scenes as a producer were key to moving it forward. He had even been photographed at Comic-Con with the casts of Fox’s other Marvel films, Wolverine, X-Men: Apocalypse, Fantastic Four and Deadpool.
The movie, directed by Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘ Rupert Wyatt, is slated for release in October 2016.
Tatum has said he is a lifelong fan of the character, who has the power to imbue objects with explosive kinetic power (and prefers to sling a deck of cards as his weapon.) Tatum once gave an interview to MTV stating, “Gambit’s the only X-Man I ever loved. He’s the most un-X-Man X-Man that’s ever been an X-Man … he loves women and drinkin’ and smokin’.”
The fact that anyone has to re-confirm Tatum’s involvement is a testatment to the mercurial world of casting scoops. Remember Ryan Gosling as The Lone Ranger? Or Asa Butterfield as Spider-Man? This time, The Wrap seems to have been dealt a bad hand.