Why Channing Tatum Can’t Watch Marvel Movies Anymore

“I was so traumatized…I shut off my Marvel machine.”

With his feature directorial debut headed to theaters later this month and other projects in the works as an actor, Channing Tatum‘s professional schedule sounds pretty busy.

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His long history of career successes, both in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes, dates back almost two decades. But there’s one movie that never made it to Channing’s IMDb page, and, years after the prospective superhero film was tossed before reaching production, he’s still thinking about what could have been.

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Some context: If you’re a fan of Marvel then you might be familiar with Gambit, a veteran character known for his kinetic powers and often pictured with a deck of cards throughout the comic books. Taylor Kitsch played him in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Anyway, Channing was eager to step into the role himself, and planned to do so in a standalone Gambit film that he even opted to co-direct alongside his producing partner, Reid Carolin.

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“The studio really didn’t want us to direct it,” Tatum recalled in a new interview with Variety, referencing early conversations about Gambit with folks at 20th Century Fox. “They wanted anybody but us, essentially, because we had never directed anything.”

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Channing went on to describe Gambit‘s titular hero as “the coolest person,” saying, “He could pull anything off. Most superheroes, their outfits are utilitarian. Batman’s got his belt. Gambit’s like, ‘No, this shit’s just fly, bro! This shit walked down the Paris runway last year.’ He’s just wearing the stuff that’s so dope because he loves fashion.”

Gambit remained in pre-development stages for years, until Disney merged with Fox in 2019 and permanently paused plans to make the movie. Channing was so passionate about the project that he stopped watching Marvel films altogether after its cancellation.

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“Once Gambit went away, I was so traumatized…I shut off my Marvel machine. I haven’t been able to see any of the movies,” he said. “I loved that character. It was just too sad. It was like losing a friend because I was so ready to play him.”

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Should the Gambit movie ever come to fruition, Channing noted that he would “love to play” the character. However, “I don’t think we should direct it,” he said, adding, “I think that was hubris on our part.”

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Personally, I’m so curious about Gambit now. What do you all think? Would you watch?

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