Like the fourth panel on one of the deeply-discomfiting paperback covers of the Animorphs series, Channing Tatum’s transformation is almost complete. The man who once leveled a nation’s worth of teen hearts with a swoonworthy performance in the original Step Up film has re-asserted himself as Serious Artist Channing Tatum, a thespian who stars in Essential Viewing-worthy films and lands roles in star-studded passion projects from prestige directors. It’s at a time like this that Tatum probably wishes he had a longer, more dignified name he could start going by. Like Channington Tatum-Devereux, for instance.
But fancy Mr. Tatum-Devereaux’s creative passions extend beyond the business end of the camera, and the piano now wishes to write the concerto. The actor has been searching for an opportunity to try his hand at filmmaking, and a new report from /Film indicates that he may have found it.
Tatum will produce and co-direct an adaptation of the book Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, by Silver Linings Playbook novelist Matthew Quick. As titles for directorial debuts from muscular leading men go, it’s no I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her On A Meat Hook, And Now I Have A Three-Picture Deal At Disney, but hey, what is? The novel’s eponymous figure is a mentally unwell teenager who brings his granddad’s Nazi pistol to school with the intention of gunning down his former best friend and then turning the barrel on himself. As Leonard goes about his day in preparation for its explosive finale, the novel tracks his various goodbyes to the precious few he holds dear at school. One of those characters would be a teacher that realizes what Leonard plans on doing and attempts to intervene, a role that Tatum has reserved for himself.
Tatum’s creative partner, Reid Carolin, will step in and assist in the capacity of co-director on the film. Carolin’s collaborations with Tatum have consistently borne fruit: Carolin wrote and produced Magic Mike in 2012, and had a hand in Ten Years, White House Down, and 22 Jump Street. When C-Tates’ Gambit spinoff film gets off the ground, Carolin will produce that, too. Because showbiz can only ever make sense when put in terms of Entourage, think of Carolin as the E to the Chan-man’s Vinny Chase. Jonah Hill, clearly, is Turtle. No one is Johnny Drama, because isn’t there enough suffering in the world already?