Exclusive: Channing Tatum Talks Standalone Gambit X-Men Film

Are you ready for a Gambit origin story?

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.