Channing Tatum is the latest actor to join the ranks of the X-Men. The "22 Jump Street" star will portray the card-throwing Cajun mutant Gambit in an upcoming movie, producer Lauren Shuler Donner confirmed at the premiere of "X-Men: Days of Future Past" in London.
Speaking to Total Film on the red carpet, Shuler Donner said of the casting decision: "He's a rogue, Channing. He's a rascal, just like Remy LeBeau [Gambit]. And he can handle the action. We all know that. And he's got a real good heart … I think he'll be great for Gambit."
She added, "And he's a Southerner too … He understands that world, and you know Gambit loves New Orleans."
Whether Gambit will appear in an ensemble "X-Men" movie or a standalone picture (or both) remains to be seen.
Tatum hasn't been shy about his interest in the character. While doing press for "White House Down" in September, Tatum said he wanted to do a superhero movie and singled out Gambit as his favorite. "My dad's from New Orleans, and I'd like to do the Cajun accent," he said.
At the MTV Movie Awards in April, Tatum revealed that he'd met with Shuler Donner about playing the character. Now it seems he's finally gotten his wish.
In recent years, Tatum has carved out a niche for himself as a hunky action hero with a knack for sly comedy. In films such as "White House Down," "21 Jump Street" and the "G.I. Joe" movies, he's shown that he can kick butt and score laughs.
Tatum also showed some dramatic range in Steven Soderbergh's male-stripper movie, "Magic Mike," which is loosely based on the actor's own experiences. A sequel is in the works.
Tatum's next big dramatic turn will come in director Bennett Miller's ("Moneyball") highly anticipated drama "Foxcatcher," a fact-based drama about the murder of Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz by the eccentric chemical fortune heir John Du Pont. Tatum plays brother and fellow Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz.
The film premieres May 19 at the Cannes Film Festival and will open Nov. 14 from Sony Pictures Classics.