May 13, 2014 9:44am PT by Tatiana Siegel , Borys Kit
Channing Tatum to Play Gambit in X-Men Spinoff
Channing Tatum has signed on to star in an X-Men spinoff centered on the character Gambit, THR has confirmed.
News that the 22 Jump Street star would tackle the role last played by Taylor Kitsch broke when X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner revealed the move to Total Film on the red carpet in London Monday night, where the current X-Men movie, Days of Future Past, was premiering.
Multiple sources say that Tatum will get a stand-alone spinoff, with his version of Gambit being introduced in X-Men: Apocalypse. The stand-alone film is still in development, however, and no director has been attached.
When asked what kind of an actor she was looking at to play Gambit, Shuler Donner said, "It's Channing."
Asked to elaborate on what makes Tatum right for the role, Shuler Donner said, "Well you know, he's a rogue -- Channing -- he's a rascal, just like Remy LeBeau, and he can handle the action, we all know that! And he's got a really good heart."
"He'll be great for Gambit," she added, "and he's a Southerner, too! He's not from New Orleans, but he is a Southerner, and he understands that world."
(Watch video of Shuler Donner talking to Total Film about Tatum below.)
The news that one of Hollywood's most in-demand stars is joining the franchise offers a relief to the X-Men team, which has endured a difficult press tour amid sex-abuse allegations involving director Bryan Singer.
Shuler Donner told The Hollywood Reporter Saturday night at the Days of Future Past New York premiere that there was a secret movie she couldn't yet talk about.
When asked if there were other X-Men stories she's itching to tell, she simply said "yeah," but couldn't reveal further details except to hint that one secret film was in the works.
"There's one I'm really itching to tell you about but I can't," she told THR Saturday night. "You're gonna like it though. I guarantee you. It's really different, but you're going to like it."
Tatum is repped by UTA and Management 360.
Hilary Lewis contributed to this story.