Two years ago at Comic-Con, Channing Tatum publicly announced his presence in the X-Men cinematic universe, posing onstage alongside his fellow movie mutants for what was billed as the World’s Largest Superhero Selfie.
By that point, Tatum had spent a year developing a standalone X-verse installment focusing on Gambit, the card-slinging Cajun who became a fan favorite in the 1990s. Flash forward to 2017 and the actor’s anticipated adaptation has yet to land a definitive date on Fox’s release slate.
So when Tatum swung by Yahoo Movies‘ suite at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday to promote his spy sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle, our conversation eventually turned to Gambit: specifically, what’s up with it?
“It’s a great question. I have the same question,” Tatum says (watch the clip above).
Tatum attributes the delay in part to Fox’s success with recent envelope-pushing R-rated entries, notably Ryan Reynolds‘ bleepin’ irreverent Deadpool and Hugh Jackman‘s brutal Wolverine send-off, Logan.
“We got really lucky. We had a first draft it was good,” he says, “but we were coming to it at a time at that creative phase of [the X-Men], where these movies went through a bit of a paradigm shift, where the X-Men movies and the superhero movies with Logan and Deadpool really broke down a lot of doors for us. We were trying to do some things that we actually weren’t allowed to do, and they just smashed down the doors, so we’re giving it a bit of a rethink.”
But Tatum isn’t ready to commit to making Gambit an R-rated film: “We’re not quite going there, because I enjoyed Gambit as a kid so I don’t want to rule out PG-13.”
A quick refresher: Gambit was created in 1990 by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee. He’s a mutant with the ability to manipulate kinetic energy, typically demonstrated with his trademark playing cards. He also fancies himself a ladies’ man. Gambit previously appeared in forgettable X-Men Origins: Wolverine played by Taylor Kitsch. (That also happens to be the film where we also first met a very different Deadpool.)
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