In an unexpected twist worthy of the comic books the project is based on, Channing Tatum has stepped away from the Gambit standalone film, according to The Wrap. This is a truly shocking development – not only was the X-Men spinoff set to begin filming in October, but Tatum himself very visibly promoted the project at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this month.
Gambit, which follows the solo adventures of the Cajun X-Man with the power to explosively energize inanimate objects (usually playing cards), was scheduled to open Oct. 7, 2016, hot on the tails of Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse. With the abrupt exit of its lead, however, Gambit‘s future is uncertain. Tatum’s departure comes as a genuine surprise; besides his appearance at SDCC, public comments from the actor seemed to express a genuine enthusiasm and excitement for the project. Not only that, but news about the film has been coming along at a fairly regular clip – Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt was announced to helm the project last month, and casting news was coming along as recently as yesterday.
Tatum was attached not only to star but to produce, alongside Reid Carolin, Simon Kinberg and Lauren Shuler Donner. It’s currently unknown whether the actor will remain attached to the film in that capacity. It should also be noted that Gambit as a film property pretty much only exists thanks to the sheer force of Tatum’s will and star-power, so whether or not this project will move forward at all without him attached remains to be seen.