Channing Tatum’s plan to act in every style and genre of movie possible is under threat. You may have heard that the stripper-turned-thespian is apparently on the cusp of leaving the Gambit movie. Unsurprisingly, there’s no official comment from the studio on whether or not any of the report is true.
Tatum campaigned for the role years ago, and won over Fox with his impossible charm and fanboy love of the character Remy LaBeau aka Gambit. This was before the movie was even announced; Tatum and his producing partner Carolin Reid convinced the studio to not only greenlight the movie but that they should produce and cast Magic Mike in the starring role. It’s not unusual for actors to craft personal projects, but this property in particular is tricky. Gambit is part of Fox’ small clutch of characters licensed from Marvel. Ker-ching! That entire brand is designed to generate as much income as Marvel Studios rakes in from their cinematic Universe. The X-Men, Fantastic Four, Deadpool, and now Gambit.
For a lead actor - who shepherded the film through development and plans to produce - to suddenly drop out, there’s got to be alarm bells sounding for the honchos at Fox. The self-confessed Gambit geek recently appeared alongside the rest of Fox’ superhero ensembles at Comic-Con (decked out in a t-shirt bearing the unmistakable visage of Mr. LaBeau), so what gives? He’s demonstrated more than enough passion for the mutant movie.
It’s simple. The news of his potential departure is more intriguing than the actual issue being reported. Why? Perhaps because it’s all a power play by Tatum and/or his reps. Phrases used in The Wrap’s post claim that his deal is “in jeopardy of falling apart” and that while his people are talking to studio people, “something is up.” The whole thing has an air of the bizarre about it, bearing in mind Tatum’s history with the film. The site does go on to say that his busy schedule might have something to do with it; but it’s more likely a maneouvre to secure Tatum a salary hike. Negotiating for a better deal isn’t unusual. Seeing that dirty laundry siphoned through the movie press for leverage, that’s something new.
In case you’re terrified that you won’t see his depiction of the ragin’ Cajun, I shouldn’t worry. Expect a press release full of happy platitudes in the next week or so describing how it was just a minor mishap. In reality, it’s probably what’ll make Tatum an extra few points on the backend.