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While many comic book fans are still trying to adjust to the news that Channing Tatum will play Gambit in an upcoming X-Men movie, the actor confirmed that this was already almost a reality a few years back. In an interview with GQ (via HitFix), Tatum mentioned that he was almost cast as Gambit for Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand, but the character was cut from the movie before filming began.

As you know, the character finally debuted on screen with Taylor Kitsch playing the role in X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009. At the time, Tatum was busy with G.I. Joe and wasn’t available, thus dodging a major bullet. Now, however, the stars have aligned for Tatum to finally (hopefully) do the Cajun mutant justice.

In the interview, Tatum mentioned that Gambit was “the only superhero I really followed. … He was the most real to me: smoking, drinking, women-loving, thief. He just looked cool to me. I’ve always loved him. And obviously he’s Cajun.”

The plan is for Tatum to debut in X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016 before moving on to his own solo film afterwards.

[GQ via HitFix]