There are 11 X-Men movies to date, 13 if you count Deadpool and its sequel. That’s a lot of X-Men movies (Jennifer Lawrence would argue too many), and yet, Twentieth Century Fox couldn’t find room for the only X-Men movie that matters: Channing Tatum’s Gambit.
The solo film about the card-throwing mutant was stuck in development hell for years — Rupert Wyatt, Doug Liman, and Gore Verbinski were all attached to direct at some point — before the project was killed for good by Disney in 2019.
The Magic Mike XXL star still hasn’t emotionally recovered.
“The studio really didn’t want [himself and producer partner Reid Carolin] to direct it,” Tatum told Variety. “They wanted anybody but us, essentially, because we had never directed anything.” Carolin added, “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.” They were “right on the one-yard line” when Gambit went… poof.
Tatum admits that he was “traumatized” when his passion project was scrapped. “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,” he said. The actor is still ready to play Gambit, but “I don’t think we should direct it. I think that was hubris on our part.”
Tatum will, however, make his directorial debut with Dog.