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In a February cover story for Vanity Fair, the Magic Mike star and producer opened up about his career trajectory and his personal life, including fatherhood, his divorce from Jenna Dewan and new relationship with Zoë Kravitz.
While speaking about his work with Free Association, formally known as 33&Out, he shared that the production company currently has the rights to Ghost, the 1990 romantic fantasy starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. The actor, producer and writer says they’re currently trying for a modern remake of the film, with him potentially in Swayze’s role. They are also reconsidering some of the “problematic stereotypes” that were contained in the original film.
“We’re going to do something different,” he said. “I think it needs to change a little bit.”
Tatum also addressed the status of the X-Men Gambit movie that had been in development at what was then 21st Century Fox, before it was acquired by the Walt Disney Company.
“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,” Tatum said. “We call every once in a while, but we’ve got to spiritually, emotionally, kind of mentally let it go.”
Speaking to other chapters of his film career, Tatum also touched on a previous franchise — actioner G.I. Joe — and the upcoming installment of his Magic Mike trilogy. When it comes to Magic Mike’s Last Dance, the actor said that it will be the first installment led by a woman in a franchise historically celebrated for empowering women — but without any female leads.
“Really, the first two movies are feathered-fish sort of movies, in my opinion,” Tatum said. “They’re movies about men made for women or people that like men, but none of them had really strong female characters. So it felt like we sort of hoodwinked people on some level. Like we cheated the code.”
While Tatum had plenty of positive things to say about his return to the Magic Mike universe, in a separate interview conducted as part of Vanity Fair’s Lie Detector series, he offered a less than rosy take on why he left a different franchise, G.I. Joe. After appearing as Duke in 2009’s The Rise of Cobra, the actor confirmed he requested his character be killed off in the first 10 minutes of the 2013 follow-up Retaliation.
“The first one I passed on seven times, but they had an option on me and I had to do a movie,” he said of his appearances in both films. “So the second one I obviously just didn’t want to be in that one either.”
Tatum had previously spoken about why he left the franchise while promoting his second Magic Mike movie on The Howard Stern Show in 2015, telling the host he hated The Rise of Cobra.
“I was pushed into doing that movie,” he explained. “They give you the contract and they go, ‘Three-picture deal, here you go.’ You’re like, ‘Oh, my God, that sounds amazing, I’m doing that!’ Even the options go from like 60 grand to 80 grand to 100 grand, and I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, that’s so much money.'”
While the deal seemed good at first, he noted he was ultimately cast in a role he was less interested in and eventually got in the way of other projects he found more creatively fulfilling and lucrative.
“Time goes by, you get other jobs and you’re building your quote and you have a dream job that you want to go do, and the studio calls,” he added. “They’re like, ‘Hey, we’ve got a movie for you, we’re going to send it to you.’ It’s right during the writers’ strike and it’s G.I. Joe and I’m like, ‘I love G.I. Joe, can I play Snake Eyes?’ and they’re like, ‘No. You’re playing Duke.’”
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Santa Barbara International Film Festival