Tatum and longtime producer partner Reid Carolin spent four years developing a raunchy Marvel movie a la Ryan Reynolds’ “Deadpool” films.
“We wanted to make a romantic comedy superhero movie,” Carolin told Variety. “The thesis was the only thing harder than saving the world is making a relationship work.”
But there was a divide between what Tatum and Carolin wanted and the studio’s wishes.
“The studio really didn’t want us to direct it,” Tatum said. “They wanted anybody but us, essentially, because we had never directed anything.”
Still, the film was cast and a release date was set for October 2016.
However, Disney’s merger with Fox made “Gambit” a corporate casualty, according to Carolin.
“Disney had just gotten the ‘X-Men’ from Fox,” Carolin said. “I think they needed to redesign the ‘X-Men’ from the ground up.”
Tatum still hasn’t recovered from the rejection.
“Once ‘Gambit’ went away, I was so traumatized,” Tatum said. “I shut off my Marvel machine. I haven’t been able to see any of the movies. I loved that character. It was just too sad. It was like losing a friend because I was so ready to play him.”
But Tatum is open to playing the character should Disney reconsider the project.
“Uh, yeah, I would love to play Gambit,” he said. “I don’t think we should direct it. I think that was hubris on our part.”
Tatum’s latest film, “Dog,” which he co-directed with Carolin, hits theaters Feb. 18. You can see the new trailer below.