Channing Tatum will play the superhero Gambit in a forthcoming spin-off movie from the X-Men series, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Tatum will become the second X-Men character to get his own film. Hugh Jackman's Wolverine has featured in 2009's poorly received X-Men Origins: Wolverine and last year's The Wolverine. The move is slightly unexpected because Tatum has not played Gambit in any previous X-Men film. But the actor, who grew up in the bayous of Mississippi, has publicly expressed an interest in playing the Louisiana-born character, also known as Remy LeBeau, in the past.
"Gambit is the only X-Man I've ever loved," he previously told MTV. "I mean, I've loved them all, they're all great, but I guess just being from down south; my dad's from Louisiana, I'm from Mississippi, Alabama, Florida. I don't know, I just related to him … I would die to play him."
X-Men: Days of Future Past producer Lauren Shuler Donner spoke of Tatum's appointment to the role at the film's premiere earlier this week in London. "He's a rogue, Channing – he's a rascal, just like Remy LeBeau. And he can handle the action, we all know that," she told Total Film. "And he's got a really good heart … I think he'll be great for Gambit."
Gambit was previously played by Taylor Kitsch in X-Men: Wolverine. Known as an outsider and ladies' man, the mutant's powers include the ability to control kinetic energy. He is also a skilled card player and is an expert with a Japanese staff known as a Bō.
• This article was amended on 14 May to remove a reference to X-Men: Apocalypse that was added to the writer's copy, indicating Apocalypse was the spin-off film from the X-Men series to feature Gambit as a standalone character. Gambit features in Apocalypse as part of an ensemble of characters.