By Anthony Breznican
Updated October 31, 2014 at 12:00 PM EDT

Fox is putting some kinetic energy into a new Gambit movie, with Channing Tatum set to star as the card-slinging mutant, sources confirm to EW.

The 21 Jump Street star has long been linked to the character, who has the power to imbue any object with a dose of explosive power. (His weapon of choice is a deck of playing cards.) He 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 actor and the character also share a background as Southern gentlemen. Tatum was born in Alabama, while Gambit, a.k.a. Remy LeBeau is a cajun from bayou country.

The news was broken by Deadline this afternoon, which said Robocop remake writer Joshua Zetumer had been hired to pen the screenplay.

Lauren Shuler Donner, the producer of the X-Men films, had also stated earlier this year that she was eager to bring Tatum into the world of the Marvel misfits, so his casting was already considered a fait accompli. “He’s a rogue, Channing. He’s a rascal,” she told Total Film magazine.

This would actually serve as a reboot of the character, who appeared onscreen opposite Hugh Jackman in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In that film — widely scorned by fans of the other X-Men titles — Gambit was played by John Carter and Battleship‘s Taylor Kitsch.

No release date or director was set, but based on Shuler Donner’s enthusiasm for Tatum, it’s possible he could turn up in X-Men: Apocalypse, Bryan Singer’s Summer 2017 followup to X-Men: Days of Future Past, as a way of introducing him to moviegoers in advance of his stand-alone adventure.

Contributing: Tim Stack