A Gambit movie was in the works for several years at 20th Century Fox, and it was originally slated for a 2016 release. While X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner essentially greenlit the movie just because Channing Tatum wanted to play the character, cracking the story was seemingly easier said than done, hence why it went through several writers and directors and never got made.
With Marvel Studios now in charge of the X-Men franchise following the Disney/Fox merger, Gambit was just one of many projects that ended up being scrapped. With that, Tatum's dreams of playing the Marvel Comics character were dashed, though he's not the only actor who missed out.
We'd heard rumblings back in 2015 that No Time to Die star Léa Seydoux has been tapped to play love interest Bella Donna Boudreaux, and she reflected on the project while talking with IndieWire.
"The script was really good," she tells the site. "It had some funny bits in it, but they wanted to make more of a comedy. I feel that in America people have more imagination. I have been offered films very very far from what I’ve done and I’m like, ‘Oh. Interesting.’ I love to feel that I can adapt myself. For me, that’s very exotic."
While many fans scoffed at the prospect of a Gambit movie, there's every chance it could have been something special. Veteran comic book writer Chris Claremont even helped Fox with story ideas, and we know that, with the right project, Tatum is a damn fine leading man.
One positive about Gambit not taking centre stage in Fox's Marvel Universe is that there's probably a very good chance Marvel Studios will make the character a priority, especially when he's free from any past baggage. We'll have to wait and see on that front, of course, as Kevin Feige and company don't appear to be in any rush to reboot mutants for the MCU.