Channing Tatum is getting ready to throw down… some cards! X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner said in an interview posted by Total Film on Tuesday, May 13, that Tatum will play the character of Gambit in the X-Men film that follows this year's X-Men: Days of Future Past.
"He's a rogue," Donner explained of the 34-year-old actor. "Channing—he’s a rascal, just like Remy LeBeau." LeBeau, as famously known in the X-Men series, is a card-wielding, bilingual mutant who has the power to manipulate energy. LeBeau/Gambit's energy-tapping skill allows him to fight with superhuman sophistication and lithe. "He can handle the action," Donner said of the actor. "We all know that. He's got a really good heart."
In fact, Tatum's action-movie credits include White House Down, 21 Jump Street, and the upcoming, much-anticipated sequel, 22 Jump Street. He also stars in upcoming sci-fi movie epic Jupiter Ascending, opposite Mila Kunis, out this July.
Characteristically, Gambit is a smooth operator. In the series, he's romantically linked to Rogue/Marie D'Ancanto. Though it remains unclear if the relationship will be part of Tatum's upcoming role, Rogue's character in the movies is portrayed by True Blood's Anna Paquin. In the romance department, Tatum has tapped his sappy side as a Nicholas Sparks' leading man in 2012's The Vow and 2010's Dear John.
At the MTV Movie Awards last month, Tatum told MTV News that he would "die" to play Gambit. "I met with Lauren Shuler Donner and I would love [to play him]," the actor said. "Gambit is really the only X-Men that I've ever loved reported by US."
"I guess being from down south, I just related to him," Alabama native Tatum told MTV of his character. "He's the most un-X-Men X-Men that's ever been in X-Men, other than maybe Wolverine." Channing is the first actor to play Gambit in an X-Men film.