Channing Tatum was set to bring Gambit to the silver screen in his own spin-off movie. Following several delays and years in development hell, the X-Men title was eventually scrapped.
Tatum has shed more light on the treacherous journey the project went through. Speaking with Variety, the actor also highlighted what the mutant's introduction would've entailed.
Cancelled Gambit Movie Would’ve Been an R Rated Romance Film
The Magic Mike actor reminisces over the main premise of the movie, which would've explored a love story involving the card-wielding hero:
We wanted to make a romantic comedy superhero movie. The thesis was the only thing harder than saving the world is making a relationship work.
The movie came to fruition in 2014, with 20th Century Fox pushing it forward. Coming off the successful 22 Jump Street, Tatum signed later that year.
The project morphed through various tones and budgets. But Deadpool happened and launched to astronomical box office rakings and critical reception. Tatum notes Gambit would've followed similar footsteps, with the comic book film involving a small production with an R-rating.
It's a thief in New Orleans, it's a whole different story. [Tatum]'s on board, and I have to get the studio on board. [Gambit] doesn't have to be a great big movie.
The adaptation sailed through several directors, with Rise of the Planet of the Apes' Rupert Wyatt jumping on initially. The project then stalled following Fantastic Four's failure in 2015.
Edge of Tomorrow's Doug Liman then signed on, putting the film back on track as production was ready for 2016. But Liman eventually dropped out - he can be seen next directing a movie with Tom Cruise in actual space.
Gore Verbinski, director of the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, was then attached. But the Disney-Fox deal eventually tanked the movie in 2017.
Following its cancellation, Tatum remains "traumatised" by the experience, so much that the actor doesn't watch Marvel movies anymore.
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. I loved that character. It was just too sad. It was like losing a friend because I was so ready to play him.
With the multiverse wide open in the MCU, Tatum could still bring the role to life. Various marvel alumni, including a former Spiderman actor, are reportedly set to make an appearance in Doctor Strange 2.
After a 4-year hiatus, Channing Tatum is returning to acting. Starting with a surprise appearance in Free Guy, the Foxcatcher star is due to appear in Dog and co-lead The Lost City with Sandra Bullock later this year.