Without even waiting for the pretense of midterm elections, producer Lauren Shuler Donner has unilaterally installed Channing Tatum as the new Gambit in the X-Men franchise, making a complete mockery of the notion of democracy in our comic-book movies. “It is Channing,” Donner declares in the below interview with Total Film, thus installing the new Tatum regime. Tatum had long publicly campaigned for the role, telling MTV earlier this year, “I would die to play to him.” And so, for all that we may balk at Donner’s decision to annex Gambit for the covetous Tatum territory, we can at least be grateful that no lives were lost.
That is, unless you count the livelihood of Taylor Kitsch, who’s now been forcibly overthrown from Gambit after only a brief tenure in X-Men Origins: Wolverine—a movie that, for all that Kitsch did to bring life to its starved and silly region, is not formally recognized by most of the world’s leaders as being very good. Donner tellingly doesn’t mention Kitsch in the interview, instead focusing on extolling all of Tatum’s qualities she feels will make for a smooth transition.
“He’s a rogue. Channing, he’s a rascal, just like Remy LeBeau,” Donner says of Tatum. “And he can handle the action. We all know that. And he’s got a really good heart.” Donner also points out that Tatum—while not from New Orleans—is “a Southerner,” having been bred in Alabama and along the Mississippi bayous, so that he “understands that world” and the way its inhabitants communicate by throwing playing cards at each other.
As yet unclear is where and when Tatum will play Gambit—whether he’ll be introduced in the previously announced X-Men: Apocalypse or one of the standalone X-Men movies that was recently hinted at. But it is now obvious this won’t be put to a vote either.