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Channing Tatum Shouldn’t Play Gambit in Deadpool 3

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Deadpool 3 is a chance to have one last hurrah for the Fox X-Men movies and their take on the iconic mutants. One of them will, of course, be Hugh Jackman’s iconic Wolverine, who was last seen in the 2017 film Logan. One X-Men character possibly making a “return” in the film is one who never even showed up on the big screen.


Rumor has it that Channing Tatum is meeting with Ryan Reynolds to discuss a role in Deadpool 3, and it might be Gambit. Though Tatum was meant to play the character in an unmade film, it’s perhaps for the best that it wasn’t made. Thus, making him the “definitive” cinematic Gambit would likely be a bad decision, even if it is just a joke.

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Channing Tatum’s Gambit Project Failed for a Reason

Channing Tatum's Gambit Movie

The Gambit film was announced back in 2014, with Channing Tatum attached to the project. This was after Taylor Kitsch had portrayed the character in the prequel film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, though this take and the movie as a whole were not well-received. Tatum had wanted to join the franchise as Gambit beforehand, but his own film schedule prevented this from happening. Even after it was officially announced, the movie’s development stalled tremendously, and fate eventually caught up with it. By the time Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, plans for further entries in the film continuity were brought to a halt.

It’s all for the best, at the end of the day, as Tatum was rather miscast in the role. Though he’s a far more talented actor than films such as G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra showcased, he simply doesn’t give off the vibe of Gambit from the comics or the ’90s X-Men: The Animated Series. Now especially, he’s easily recognizable, with his mere presence being a joke and meme. This isn’t the kind of star power needed for Gambit, who should embody the character instead of the actor portraying him. Given the nature of the Deadpool films and Tatum’s own comical status, it’s likely that the whole thing would devolve into a big joke, which is exactly what the merry mutants don’t need.

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Deadpool 3 Should Avoid Using the X-Men as a Joke

Ryan Reynolds's Deadpool in shush pose next to Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, who's giving a grumpy look in his leather jacket.

The X-Men are still largely undefined in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though Deadpool 3 is likely to help segue them into prominence. In doing so, despite Deadpool being the jokey Merc with a Mouth, the X-Men property needs to be given respect and reverence. The MCU is already criticized for being too full of jokes and comedy, and reducing Marvel’s premiere franchise to a punchline would not endear fans very much. Likewise, Gambit is particularly a fan favorite for those who grew up with the cartoon, and “introducing” him just to make a silly Channing Tatum joke would likely outrage some viewers.

Channing Tatum may be fit for a role as one of the X-Men, but Gambit simply isn’t it. Instead, the franchise and the third Deadpool movie should leave that joke at the franchise’s expense unmade. This would also give the inevitable MCU take on Gambit an unchallenged playing field without having to directly “compete” with a recently preceding actor. Such is an issue with the MCU Reed Richards, with many suspecting that John Krasinski will not return to play the character in the mainstream Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hopefully, when Gambit is introduced, he’s given all the ragin’ Cajun respect he needs to please fans and win over audiences, but avoiding Channing Tatum in the role might be necessary for that to happen.

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