It was announced last week that Channing Tatum will be playing Gambit in at least one future X-Men film. I decided to give myself a few days to process this information (i.e., calm down and let my rage subside) before I posted my thoughts on the matter. I want to start off by saying that I don’t hate Channing Tatum as a person. Obviously I’ve never met the man. I have read about several very cool things he’s done and I’m sure he’s a wonderful human being and all that.
Now that the pleasantries are out of the way…I do, however, hate Channing Tatum as an actor. He has zero range and plays every character basically the same. He is either a guy from the wrong side of the tracks or a dancer…or both (Step Up).
But most importantly, he doesn’t fit the character of Gambit at all. Remy LeBeau is a slender, athletic thief, not a thick meat-head. Gambit is mysterious with a sharp, clever wit, a silver tongue, and thick Cajun accent…things that leave me extremely skeptical of Channing Tatum’s ability to pull off.
Instead of just bashing Mr. Tatum relentlessly…though I’m not opposed to that…I’ll also offer my pick of who SHOULD play Gambit: Gaspard Ulliel.
If you’re unfamiliar with his work, he is most notable in the US as the young Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal Rising. Seriously, this guy looks JUST like the Gambit from the comics. He has the build, the dark look, he’s even French, so one would think that it wouldn’t be hard for him to nail the Cajun accent. After a terribly disappointing portrayal of Remy LeBeau by Taylor Kitsch in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and now the character being played by a sub-par thespian, I’m beginning to wonder if the character will ever get the great movie treatment it deserves. I certainly hope so.