Channing Tatum takes centre stage in the new issue of Empire – out on Thursday, May 28 – with Magic Mike himself answering our queries in The Empire Interview. Some questions, as you may have suspected, concern his upcoming Gambit movie, one of the new standalones spinning off from Fox’s X-Men universe.
“I love Gambit,” says Tatum exclusively in Empire. “I grew up in the South; my father’s from Louisiana. We’d go to New Orleans and I heard all the dialects. It felt so different from the rest of America; it has its own ancient culture. So I identified with that. And he always felt the most real of the X-Men to me. He’s kind of a tortured soul and he’s not a good guy. But he’s not a bad guy, either. He walks his own path. And of course he plays cards and drinks and is a martial-arts badass!”
For those not already in the know, Marvel’s official wiki describes the ragin’ Cajun – real name Remy Etienne LeBeau – as a mutant with the power to… well, it’s complicated.
“Gambit has the mutant ability to tap into the potential energy contained within an object and transform it into kinetic energy upon touching it,” runs the wiki. “When Gambit thus charges an object and throws it at a target, the object releases this energy explosively on impact. Gambit is unable to use this power to charge living objects.”
This explains all those pink cards he slings at his foes. What it doesn’t explain is Taylor Kitsch’s disappointing turn as the character in the equally disappointing X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It’s still unclear whether the new script from RoboCop screenwriter Josh Zetumer will ignore his previous appearance in the X-verse.
“Josh Zetumer just turned in the first draft of the script, and it’s killer,” adds Tatum. “None of us were sure how he was going to deal with the X-Men world. But we’re going to be changing some of the tropes of these movies. It’s always about saving the world (laughs), but maybe we’re going to shift things a liittle but. There’s so many ways you can take [an origin story]. You could do it like Batman Begins, or a different take and go the Guardians Of The Galaxy route. All I can say is, I’m super excited.”
Finding a unique way to save the world in a comic-book superhero movie is an increasingly big ask, but with the man who helped bring the Jump Street fanchise to life – and brought a whole new angle to Superman for The Lego Movie – at the helm, things are looking positive.
With no director officially attached, the Gambit movie is set for an October 7, 2016 release.
A new Magic Mike XXL poster has turned up!
Science fiction is still hot in Hollywood, which may be why three studios have entered a bidding war to pick up the rights to a movie based on Joe Haldeman’s science-fiction war novel The Forever War with Channing Tatum attached to star.
Haldeman’s Nebula, Locus and Hugo Award-winning novel was published in 1974, telling the story of a war between humans and Tauran. The success of the novel inspired a number of sequels in the “Forever War” series, as well as a Belgian comic book in the ’80s and a board game from Mayfair Games.
Also involved in the package is screenwriter Jon Spaihts, who is behind the hot sci-fi screenplays for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and the upcoming Passengers, as well as producer Roy Lee, who will produce alongside Tatum and his Free Association company.
According to The Hollywood Reporter‘s Heat Vision Blog, Warner Bros, Sony and one other unnamed studio are all ready to write checks to get the rights, turning it into a bonafide bidding war after years of development under Ridley Scott, who picked up the rights in 2008 from special effects maestro Richard Edlund (Empire Strikes Back), who previously held the rights for two decades. Other writers like David Peoples, Matthew Michael Carnahan and Dante Harper have been involved in writing drafts during the development process.
UPDATE: According to Deadline, Warner Bros. has won the distribution rights to the science fiction adaptation.
When the rights lapsed, the package became available to a new buyer, although Edlund will still be involved in some sort of production capacity.
Tatum will play William Mandela, a young man assigned to a military task force in the war against the Taurans, following his rise through the ranks while experiencing the effects of time warps that keep him the same age, while the Earth goes through centuries of drastic changes around him. At the same time, he tries to remain connected to a fellow female soldier who also uses the space-time effects to slow down her aging.
If you thought you had the Coen Brothers‘ upcoming “Hail, Caesar!” all figured out, guess again. What we’ve known so far is that the movie features a star-studded ensemble — Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson and Jonah Hill — and is set across a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix. Supporting player Alex Karpovsky recently described the movie as “wacky and zany,” comparing it to the Coens’ undersung “The Hudsucker Proxy.” Or is it?
The Coens’ composer, Carter Burwell, appeared at the Tribeca Film Festival for the “Dolby Institute: The Sound of the Coens” masterclass and shared some intriguing details about the movie, painting a far more complex portrait of the film the siblings are putting together.
“It’s a musical comedy that takes place on a Hollywood backlot, so you pass through all these pictures that are in production there,” Burwell explained, but he goes on to clarify that it’s not actually a “musical comedy.”
“I wouldn’t actually call it a ‘musical comedy’ — there are movies within the movie, and those movies might have comedic music, but the movie we’re making is actually not comical,” he elaborated. “I haven’t written the music yet, but I’m quite certain it’s actually going to be quite the opposite. It’s going to be rather serious, and it’s about faith. It’s not about the music.”
And for anyone who is a fan of the Coens, maybe this shouldn’t be a surprise. Even something like “Inside Llewyn Davis” goes far beyond the description of “musical comedy.” It’s just as much a movie about loss, grief, and artistic ambition — and yes, it’s also very funny. So I’d wager that “Hail, Caesar!” will also be an interesting blend of themes and subjects, all under the guise of a throwback, screwball movie.
February 5, 2016 can’t come soon enough.