It's confirmed -- Channing Tatum is playing Gambit!
The 34-year-old heartthrob is set to play the "X-Men" character, a mutant who has the power to conjure up and control kinetic energy, in a future flm. The news was confirmed by producer Lauren Shuler Donner, who has worked on many "X-Men" movies, at the recent London premiere of the latest installment, "X-Men: Days of Future Past." The film is set for release on Friday, May 23.
"It is Channing, yes" she told TotalFilm.com in a video interview, posted online on Tuesday, May 13, while talking about Gambit as part of a question about which characters she'd like to bring to the big screen.
"He's a rogue, Channing, he's a rascal, just like Remy LeBeau," she said, naming Gambit's alter ego (and before that, seemingly making a secret reference to the character's love interest). "And he can handle the action -- we all know that. And he's got a really good heart, 'cause I know him personally -- I did a movie with him. So I think he'll be great. He'll be great for Gambit. And he's a Southerner too -- he's not from New Orleans, but he is a Southerner, he understands that world."
Tatum worked with Donner on the 2006 comedy film "She's the Man," which also starred Amanda Bynes. The actor was born in Alabama and raised in Mississippi. His father is from Louisiana. Gambit is originally from the latter state as well and speaks with a Cajun accent.
UPDATE: Marvel has not commented about the news. The Hollywood Reporter quoted "multiple sources" as saying that Tatum will make his debut as Gambit being introduced in the movie "X-Men: Apocalypse" and also play the character in a stand-alone spinoff film.
"He's the most 'un-X-Man' X-Man"
Tatum told MTV News in April that he had met with Donner and would love to play the character (warning: Interview contains expletives).
"It's the only X-Man that I've really like, loved," he said, adding: "I just related to him. He's just so kind of ... suave ... he's the most 'un-X-Man' X-Man that's ever been in 'X-Men,' other than maybe Wolverine."
Taylor Kitsch portrayed LeBeau in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," which was released in 2009.
Tatum, who was named People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" of 2012, has played hero roles in movies such as "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" and its sequel and "White House Down" and also provided the voice of Superman in the recent "Lego Movie."
Do you think Channing Tatum is a good choice to play Gambit in a future "X-Men" movie? Vote in our poll.
(Pictured above: Channing Tatum appears backstage at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles on April 13, 2014. / The cover of Marvel's 2012 "Gambit" comic No. 9. Credit: Kyle Rover / Startraksphoto.com / Clay Mann / Marvel)