The X-Men franchise has faced some big changes recently. With the plot getting a major overhaul after [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](tag:203942)'s timeline reboot, and many of the big names leaving their mutant roles for greener pastures, the future of X-Men is certainly going to be different from anything we've seen before.
Perhaps the biggest shock is that Hugh Jackman is finally hanging up his claws, and will not return as Logan after Wolverine 3. Shocking, but not surprising news, as after 15 years and 8 films playing the same character, anyone would want out! This is definitely a shake-up for the X-Men films. Wolverine has tied the fractured and confusing franchise together, appearing in all of the films (despite his role in X-Men: First Class being just a cameo, it was still pretty memorable). So how can Bryan Singer pull in more audiences with an ass-kicking Hollywood A Lister? Two words: Channing Tatum.
Wolverine's Last Stand
And I don't mean the infamous third X-Men film. According to the rumour mill, Wolverine 3 won't just herald Hugh Jackman's departure from the franchise but Logan's departure from this mortal coil. Yup, our favourite Canadian (apart from Deadpool of course) may finally kick the bucket in his solo film threequel.
After the character's final death in the comics last year, many fans are taking Hugh Jackman's recent comments as hints that the movie canon will follow suit.
“I kind of have in my head what we’re going to do in this last one. It just feels like this is the perfect way to go out.”
Killing Wolverine for good may be the only way Jackman can guarantee he won't be dragged back for future films, though the character's enhanced healing would certainly make this difficult. We may be in for a shocking conclusion to Wolverine's story, as it would take something pretty powerful to finally lay this superhero to rest.
How will this affect the movies? Wolverine has been Singer's main seat-filler, as the popularity of both character and actor guaranteed audiences would flock to any film he starred in. The franchise definitely needs another big name to fill the gap. The most obvious choice would be Jennifer Lawrence: after The Hunger Games catapulted her to Hollywood royalty level fame, she's the perfect choice to headline the X-Men films. Except... she's also leaving, along with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. Good thing Channing Tatum is raring to play Gambit!
X-Men's New Star
With a solo film out in 2016, and rumoured to appear in [X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267), Gambit is going to be the next big thing for X-Men. Channing Tatum, who is co-producing the solo film, is very excited to play the Cajun hero.
"I love Gambit. 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!"
Tatum's enthusiasm is catching: we can't wait to see what he'll do with the role! And with writer Josh Zetumer promising a solo film that will "change the tropes" of superhero movies, we'll be getting a genre shift that will freshen up the mutant story.
But Tatum's Gambit has a big challenge ahead of him if he's set to save the franchise. I'm talking, of course, of the confusing timeline and continuity changes. X-Men is notorious for using and dropping and re-using characters regardless of their previous appearances. Deadpool, Nightcrawler, and Kitty Pryde have all had multiple conflicting incarnations.
Will this version of Gambit bring the films back to present day? Or will the solo film be set in the late 80s, like the Gambit of X-Men Origins: Wolverine? This might match up with an Apocalypse cameo, but would doom any hopes fans have of a Gambit/Rogue romance, despite their epic love story in the comics. Unfortunately, Tatum has not given us any hint of how they're going to solve this thorny issue, though he was quick to assure us that the first draft of the Gambit script was "killer"!
Whatever Fox choose to do with the character, it's good to know that Tatum is stoked to portray the much-loved Remy Lebeau. And with new, younger actors debuting in X-Men: Apocalypse, the franchise might just be able to keep things fresh for another 15 years, even without Hugh Jackman!