We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — Channing Tatum is nothing if not determined. The actor who launched to fame with “Step Up” has eagerly taken on any role he can just to work with a top shelf director. The roster of talent he has spent time with on set — Kimberly Peirce, Michael Mann, Ron Howard, Kevin Macdonald, Steven Soderbergh (x2) — speaks for itself. As a producer, he’s throwing his weight around on upcoming films like “Ten Year,” “21 Jump Street” and “Magic Mike,” but he’s continuing to seek out opportunities to grow as an actor. His physique doesn’t allow him a chameleon presence on screen, but his quest to take on strong dramatic material may have found him the perfect middle ground—a role where his bulk is part of the territory.
You may remember that just a couple of weeks ago, it was announced that “Moneyball” and “Capote” director Bennett Miller was teaming with Steve Carell for the oddball, based on true story murder drama, with the noted funnyman to play the lead. Well, 24 Frames reports that Tatum is in talks to co-star in what will be the kind of casting we never would have guessed for either role.
Penned by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman (“Capote” ) the story centers on John du Pont (Carell), a stamp-collecting, bird-watching multimillionaire and paranoid schizophrenic who built a wrestling training facility, Team Foxcatcher, on his 800-acre Pennsylvania estate. In 1996, he shockingly murdered Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler David Schultz (Tatum), a longtime friend, who du Pont believed (as was discovered during the trial) was part of an international conspiracy to kill him. So yeah, not your everyday story. Miller was actually set to make this after “Capote” but for whatever reason, it never came to fruition. This time around it’s independently financed so presumably, Miller can cast whoever he wants, and he’s certainly making some bold, intriguing choices here.
The plan is for production on “Foxcatcher” to begin in March, and with no distributor on board, it’ll be interesting to see if it will play into the Oscar 2012 race (or not). But clearly, with heat on Miller already thanks to “Moneyball,” he will have no problem attracting studio attention for “Foxcatcher” when the time comes.