We recently learned that Channing Tatum is currently in the running for the lead role of Duke in 2009′s G.I. Joe, Paramount Pictures’ live-action film based on the popular Hasbro action figures. The movie is set to start principal photography (aka “begin filming”) on February 13, 2008.

Last week I caught wind of a possible new role for Channing Tatum in yet another high-profile Hollywood film on the Wisconsin-based blog network Dane101.com. Today I found a couple other sources (The-Numbers.com, HSX.com) that say Channing may have already been added to this new film’s cast, so I thought I would go ahead and make a post about it.

Dane101.com made an extremely small mention a little over a week ago that Channing Tatum was rumored to be in writer/director/producer Michael Mann’s new Universal Pictures project called ‘Public Enemies‘ that’s set to release in 2009.

The real-life crime drama is already getting a ton of buzz in Hollywood and currently stars Johnny Depp as 1930′s American bank robber John Dillinger and Christian Bale as Melvin Purvis, the Federal agent who led the manhunt to take down Dillinger and other high-profile criminals like Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd during a booming crime wave in the 1930′s.

The film’s screenplay was adapted by Michael Mann from Bryan Burrough’s non-fiction book Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and Birth of the FBI, 1933-34.

The movie starts in 1933, after Dillinger is already a notorious gangster, and it follows him into the last few years of his life as he runs from the law, namely Purvis. The LatinReview.com has a great summary of the script, so you can read below to learn more about the movie:

September 1933. JOHN DILLINGER is driven to prison by his partner and confidant, RED HAMILTON. As he gets processed into prison again, several inmates break out and report to Dillinger, who leads them back to Red and the getaway car.

Now we see MELVIN PURVIS, federal agent, run after PRETTY BOY FLOYD. After a good chase, Purvis fires at Floyd and hits him, killing the gangster.

In the throes of the Great Depression, Dillinger sets up shop in Chicago with a network of men, including a gunsmith, a corrupt cop, and a car dealer – he’s nearly invincible: His robberies are perfectly planned – every man on his team has a job and does it well. There are no casualties and to top things off, Dillinger has the public’s support – he is a charismatic and good looking gentleman who is always nice to the civilians, as he assures them he is only after the bank’s money, not theirs.

Meanwhile in Washington, a young politician named J. EDGAR HOOVER tries to get more money from Congress to fight organized crime. Hoover is an arrogant and stubborn elite, but he’s dynamic, gets results, and is bent on ridding the world of men like John Dillinger. Hoover is impressed with Purvis, Back from his capture of Pretty Boy Floyd, and assigns him on his new mission: destroy Dillinger.

Purvis tracks Dillinger and we get to see a number of old surveillance methods, including old fashioned wire taps, but Dillinger is always a step ahead. One night at a club, Dillinger meets a beautiful young girl named BILLIE and falls in love on the spot. He pursues her and his charm wins her over.

Later on, Dillinger is captured again, but not for long – his charisma and clever maneuvering, as well as ties to a slick lawyer, afford him the chance to once again escape from custody.

But this notoriety wears thin and Dillinger slowly realizes that his Robin Hood style antics of bank robberies may be a thing of the past. As his connections begin to dwindle, Dillinger has to start doing things he thought he’d never do to survive, all while Purvis gets closer in his pursuit – and from Hoover’s orders, it’s clear that Dillinger is wanted more dead than alive.

Why do I think this is more reel than rumor? Well, Misher Films is one of the three production companies helping to bring ‘Public Enemies‘ to the big screen, and Kevin Misher (a really nice film executive who I personally had the pleasure of meeting when I was on set last October) of Misher Films also produced Channing’s upcoming film ‘Fighting‘.

I’m totally working off of layman speculation here, but Hollywood loves to work with people they already know, especially people like Channing that are extremely talented, easy to work with, and come with an established fan base in tow ;-) , so I’m thinking this one may have some of truth in it.

The movie is supposed to start filming on March 10, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Madison, Oshkosh and Little Bohemia, Wisconsin. If he is in this film, I’m not sure what would happen with G.I. Joe, but either film would be great for Chan.

Stay tuned to Channing Tatum Unwrapped…I’ll let you all know when I am able to get some confirmation from Channing’s camp on the validity of this
casting, and I’ll also see if I can get any scoop on which role he may be playing.

Source: Dane101.com, LatinReview.com, The-Numbers.com, HSX.com

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