Channing Tatum to star as Gambit in ‘X-Men’ spinoff film

May 13, 2014 | 10:55 a.m.
la ca 0326 x men days of future 084 Channing Tatum to star as Gambit in X Men spinoff film

Sunspot (Adan Canto), left, Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) and Colossus (Daniel Cudmore) prepare for an epic battle to save their kind in "X-Men: Days of Future Past." (Fox)

la ca 0326 x men days of future 086 Channing Tatum to star as Gambit in X Men spinoff film

Young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) meets his older self (Patrick Stewart) in "X-Men: Days of Future Past." (Fox)

apphoto film cinemacon x men Channing Tatum to star as Gambit in X Men spinoff film

Ellen Page, left, as Kitty Pryde and Shawn Ashmore as Iceman in "X-Men: Days of Future Past." (Fox)

Actor Channing Tatum is set to join the mutant universe, playing Gambit in an “X-Men” standalone film.

Tatum previously had expressed interest in playing the character, whose given name is Remy LeBeau. A Cajun charmer from Louisiana, Gambit has the ability to control kinetic energy, often charging items he touches, turning them into explosives and throwing them as weapons (playing cards are a favorite).

Created by Chris Claremont and artist Jim Lee, the former thief made his comic book debut in 1990 and has been featured in several “X-Men” animated series and video games.

Channing Tatum: The popular actor is a believable action star and he’s even set to give voice to Superman in the upcoming “The Lego Movie,” marking his first foray into the DC Universe. And besides, if that “Man of Steel” sequel screenplay happens to feature a male exotic dancing sequence, Tatum’s got enough moxie to handle a breakaway Batsuit. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Channing Tatum. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Taylor Kitsch originated the character in Gavin Hood’s spinoff film, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

The project is the latest in a series of films for the busy actor. Tatum will next be seen on the big screen opposite Jonah Hill in “22 Jump Street,” the sequel to the movie comedy based on the TV show that debuted in the 1980s. Then, he will star with Mila Kunis in “Jupiter Ascending,” Andy and Lana Wachowski’s next spectacle-laden sci-fi outing, which opens July 18.

Of course, Claremont’s work also inspired the upcoming “X-Men” film — “Future Past,” due out May 23, is adapted from one of the writer’s most beloved comic book story lines. Directed by Bryan Singer, the movie stars actors from Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 prequel “X-Men: First Class,” and the original “X-Men” trilogy, which launched in 2000 with Singer’s original “X-Men” and arguably ushered in the current golden age of comic book cinema.

“Future Past’s” expansive cast includes James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart playing Charles Xavier, with Michael Fassbender and Ian McKellen playing Magneto. Also featured are Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde, Halle Berry as Storm, Omar Sy as Bishop and Evan Peters as Quicksilver.

“Game of Thrones” star Peter Dinklage joins the ensemble as Bolivar Trask, the mastermind who initially creates robots called Sentinels, which in the future seek to drive mutants into extinction.

In Singer’s film, the X-Men ultimately hit upon a plan to prevent the bleak future. By projecting Wolverine’s consciousness back in time into the body of his younger self, they hope to unite friends-turned-adversaries Xavier and Magneto and avoid the events that will trigger the dystopia.

Are you excited to see “X-Men: Days of Future Past”? What do you make of Tatum’s casting as Gambit?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below, and click through the image gallery above for a more detailed look at “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

– Gina McIntyre and Blake Hennon

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

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