Channing-Tatum-wanted-for-Gambit-movieGetting his big-screen debut in X-Men: Origins – Wolverine, there’s long been talk of Gambit getting his own stand-alone movie.

Now it looks like that long hoped-for film might be closer to reality than we’d previously realised.

Speaking to Empire in their latest issue, which has a pretty strong focus on the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, the franchise’s long-time producer Lauren Shuler Donner has spoken of her desire to cast Channing Tatum in the role.

“I’m dying to do a Gambit movie with Channing Tatum,” Shuler Donner reveals. “That doesn’t have to be a great big movie. It’s a thief in New Orleans, it’s a whole different story. He’s on board, and I have to get the studio on board. How can anyone resist Channing? He’s such a sweetheart.”

Tatum has spoken many times of his love of the franchise, and Gambit in particular. At a press conference for White House Down last year, he himself said,

“I would like to play Gambit. Gambit’s my favourite. I’m from New Orleans, around that area. My dad’s from New Orleans, and I like to do a Cajun accent. I could do it for real.

“No knock on Taylor Kitsch, though, ’cause I actually like his Gambit, but I’ve always lived around Cajun people. Gambit was always like the woman-loving, cigarette-smoking, drinking guy. He was the punk rock of all the superheroes. He’s a thief. He kind of rode the line.”

Shuler Donner has been with the franchise since the beginning, producing Bryan Singer’s X-Men and every movie since then, including this summer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.

And given that Tatum has gained huge popularity amongst cinema audiences, winning over both genders with recent performances in the likes of 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike, you’d like to hope that Fox would be sensible about fast-tracking a Gambit movie with him in the lead, given that both he and Shuler Donner are on board.

Whilst I think Taylor Kitsch did a great job in the role back in 2009’s X-Men: Origins – Wolverine, the part was undeniably small compared to what it deserves, and a full-on stand-alone movie with Tatum leading the charge sounds perfect.

The actor has 22 Jump Street and Jupiter Ascending landing this summer, with the latter in particular set to cement his status as a go-to leading man for Hollywood blockbusters (even if White House Down wasn’t everything Sony had hoped for). He also has Bennett Miller’s anticipated Foxcatcher on his slate for this year, which could well garner him awards buzz alongside Steve Carrell and Mark Ruffalo, and everyone’s excited to see how it plays out.

Mark Ruffalo and Don Cheadle have proven that comic book movie fans are more than willing to accept actor changes across a franchise, so here’s to hoping that any Gambit movie Shuler Donner and Tatum make will exist within the X-Men Cinematic Universe that has been growing since 2000.