Look out Taylor Kitsch, because Channing Tatum’s gunning for your job! The Magic Mike and 21 Jump Street star has been very vocal in the past about his desire to bring the X-Man called Gambit back to the big screen, and now he’s even met with producer Lauren Shuler Donner about making it happen.
“I met with Lauren Shuler Donner, and I would love it,” Tatum revealed backstage at the MTV Movie Awards. “Gambit is really the only X-Man I’ve ever loved. I mean, I’ve loved them all, they’re all great, but I guess just being from down South – my dad’s from Louisiana, I’m from Mississippi, Alabama, Florida – I don’t know, I just related to him. He’s just kind of suave … He’s not even, like, a hero. He’s kind of walking the line of gray… He loves women and drinking and smoking and stuff, so he’s just a cool guy who happens to have a good moral center.”
Sounds like Tatum’s done his homework on Remy LeBeau, and he’s ready for the big test – starring in a major motion picture. If the film gets the greenlight, here are five stories we think are fit for film.
Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire
The two-parter that introduced the world to Gambit way back in 1990 would make for an excellent introduction to Tatum’s thieving charmer. This tale finds Gambit going up against the Shadow King, a telepath so powerful he doesn’t even need a physical body to cause trouble. In this comic book storyline, Gambit teams up with an adolescent Storm (she was temporarily de-aged, as is wont to happen in comics) for a number of Robin Hood-style capers. This story might work if Fox doesn’t want to hit the reboot button on Gambit. Taylor Kitsch initially played Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which took place in the late ’70s/early ’80s, so this story could be set in the same rough time period of X-Men Origins: Wolverine with a new actress playing a younger version of Halle Berry’s Storm.
The Hearts of Thieves
Gambit needs a worthy adversary, and Liev Schreiber really deserves a chance to play a super villain in a good super hero movie. Thankfully, both Gambit and Sabretooth – who Schreiber played in the aforementioned X-Men Origins: Wolverine – have a history together. X-Men #33 tells the tale of a young Gambit, surviving on the streets of Paris, running scams and working for the Thieves Guild. The young Gambit runs afoul of the ferocious Sabretooth, who engineers a moral dilemma for the Ragin’ Cajun that mentally scars him for life. This Gambit movie could really hammer home his sordid past and heroic redemption by also including his next encounter with Sabretooth, when he recruited the murderer on behalf of Mr. Sinister to viciously attack the helpless Morlocks – but are movie-going audiences ready to see Tatum play a character with that much to atone for?
Honor Amongst Thieves
The X-Man’s first ever solo mini-series packs in all the elements essential to a Gambit film: New Orleans, thieves, assassins, intrigue and Rogue. When his ex-wife Bella Donna comes back from the dead, Gambit has to travel back to his hometown in order to keep the peace between the warring Thieves and Assassins Guilds. Once there, he stumbles across a fantastical plot involving immortal mutants and the elixir of life. By his side the entire time is his new girlfriend, Rogue, who gets way more information about Gambit’s seedy past than she bargained for. Just like Captain America: The Winter Soldier prominently featured Black Widow in the co-lead role, any Gambit film should include the southern bombshell.
The Man of Steal
Along with Gambit’s first ongoing series in 1999 came a number of new supporting characters and adversaries. Creators Fabian Nicieza and Steve Skroce put this charming X-Man through his paces in every issue. Antagonizing him at every turn is the X-Cutioner, an ex-FBI agent with a full arsenal of extraterrestrial weapons to use in his one-man war against mutants. The series’ high action, explosive set pieces and thrilling cat-and-mouse chases would make for a great feature film. If it helps, Fox, artist Steve Skroce already has the action sequences storyboarded out in painstakingly awesome detail.
Once a Thief
The opening arc of Gambit’s most recent ongoing series mixes a lot of story ingredients together into one tantalizing cocktail. Take some Indiana Jones style adventure, mix it with Alien style body horror, add copious amounts of James Bond-esque sexual intrigue, and top it all off with a few shower scenes and you’ve got quite possibly the perfect Gambit movie for a guy like Channing Tatum. This storyline really sells Gambit as a thief extraordinaire, a fact that sometimes gets lost in the midst of all the guilds and super heroics that sometimes crowd his solo romps.