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Channing Tatum has the rights to Ghost, and he wants to shake things up

Channing Tatum teases his version of Ghost, saying he wants "to do something different" with the beloved Patrick Swayze movie

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Channing Tatum teases "different" Ghost remake
Channing Tatum
Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer (Getty Images)

Channing Tatum has had a lot of success building an original franchise, as evidenced by the upcoming conclusion to the Magic Mike trilogy based on his own life. He’s also had success rebooting old IP, as seen in the much-beloved 21 Jump Street films. Tatum is overall a very successful guy, so why shouldn’t he set his sights on an iconic property like Ghost?

Tatum’s production company Free Association “actually [has] the rights” to the ’90s classic, he casually drops in a new Vanity Fair profile while doing some amateur pottery. (“Now I know why they put this in Ghost. This whole process is very, very sexual,” he observes, apparently in the research stage.) The actor and his producing partner Reid Carolin are interested in remaking the movie with Tatum playing the Patrick Swayze role, “But we’re going to do something different.” He notes that the original had some problematic elements, adding, “I think it needs to change a little bit and have our…” trailing off when he becomes distracted by the real-life pottery session.

The rest of the sentence may become clear soon enough if the movie gets the greenlight, though taking on such a beloved character will undoubtedly make waves. Tatum likely knows not to get too attached to the idea, given his thwarted dreams of joining the X-Men universe as Gambit: “It got swallowed up into Disney by way of Marvel when they bought Fox, and ultimately I just think that the tone of the movie we wanted to make was very far from what they wanted to do—or, you know, maybe they’re waiting to see how they do it with us or without us,” he tells Vanity Fair. “We call every once in a while, but we’ve got to spiritually, emotionally, kind of mentally let it go.”

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His Gambit may never come to pass, but given that Ghost is a promising prospect, we have to ask: is Channing Tatum the spiritual successor to Patrick Swayze? Both of their star-making roles were swoony, working-class dancers. (Dirty Dancing for Swayze, and Magic Mike for Tatum—or, even further back, Step Up.) As performers, both have demonstrated a willingness to play into, but also play against, traditional masculinity. From a certain angle, Tatum may be the perfect person to fill Swayze’s shoes. Nevertheless, devoted fans of the late actor will definitely make Tatum work for the title.