Marvel movies may be a constant force to be reckoned with at the box office.
Not only are the superhero films chock-full of mind-blowing action sequences, but they also feature well-developed characters that resonate with audiences around the world.
But sometimes that's not enough of a draw to entice every moviegoer to immerse themselves in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
There is one celebrity who refuses to see a Marvel film.
That person is Channing Tatum–and the reason for his anti-Marvel stance is a personal one.
The Magic Mike actor admitted to not having seen a Marvel film in a Variety interview because of a bitter experience with Disney–who owns Marvel Entertainment, LLC.
Tatum and longtime producer partner Reid Carolin spent four years developing a script featuring the X-Men character, Gambit.
The stand-alone film was to be infused with the raunchy, irreverent humor similar to that of Ryan Reynold's Deadpool films.
When the project was greenlit by Twentieth Century Fox in 2016–prior to Disney's acquisition of the studio–Tatum and Carolin had lobbied to share directing duties, but the duo and Twentieth Century Fox did not see eye to eye.
"The studio really didn’t want us to direct it,” recalled Tatum. “They wanted anybody but us, essentially, because we had never directed anything.”
“We were right on the one-yard line,” said Carolin, about how close the film came to fruition.
“We had cast the film. We’d opened up a production office. We were on our way to shoot in New Orleans.”
Looking back, Tatum–who even considered stepping down from directing duties for the movie–said of the studio's ambivlance of Gambit's character:
“They would call him ‘flamboyant’ in his description. I wouldn’t — he was just the coolest person. He could pull anything off."
"Most superheroes, their outfits are utilitarian. Batman’s got his belt. Gambit’s like, ‘No, this shi*’s just fly, bro! This sh*t walked down the Paris runway last year.’"
"He’s just wearing the stuff that’s so dope because he loves fashion.”
The final nail in the coffin was when Disney merged with Twentieth Century Fox in 2019 and Gambit was dropped as part of the corporate takeover.
“Disney had just gotten the X-Men from Fox,” explained Carolin, adding, “I think they needed to redesign the X-Men from the ground up.”
The abandoned project hit Tatum hard, and he still has not recovered.
“Once Gambit went away, I was so traumatized. I shut off my Marvel machine," he said.
"I haven’t been able to see any of the movies."
"I loved that character," he said of the skilled card-throwing mutant, as if he were a real person.
"It was just too sad. It was like losing a friend because I was so ready to play him.”
However, Tatum expressed he might be open to the possibility of playing the character should he someday be approached by Disney.
“Uh, yeah, I would love to play Gambit. I don’t think we should direct it. I think that was hubris on our part," said Tatum before acknowledging:
"I think that was hubris on our part.”