Channing Tatum 'Really, Really' Wants To Be Captain America... If Will Smith Passes?

Back in September, actor Derek Luke made major waves when he apparently revealed to us the kind of insider scuttlebutt that typically only gets whispered between actors, agents and casting directors. The top contender to star in the “Captain America” movie was... Will Smith?

At the time, Marvel shot down the rumor, and Smith himself also laughed it off. So, if there’s nothing to it, then why do actors keep bringing it up?

“I’ve heard rumors that Will Smith might be doing it,” Channing Tatum told MTV News Monday, adding: “He might be signing on to do it.”

Now, it’s quite possible that Tatum is remembering Luke’s comments from last year -- especially since he told us last month that Smith would be inspired casting, whether it's a rumor or not. But, if his campaigning for Will doesn't take hold, Tatum said he’d love to be next in line to play Steve Rogers.

“I would love to play Captain America,” Tatum explained in no uncertain terms. “I actually really, really would love it.”

“I love Captain America. I’m not a big aficionado on him,” he added. “But I know who we was, and I like him as a character.”

Tatum told us that if rumors prove true and Marvel is interested, he’d be happy to play the part of the “First Avenger” in the high-profile film. His only concern, however, is that fans might see the role as too close to his action-star-soldier role as Duke in August 7th’s “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.”

“I’d absolutely be next in line, as long as people wouldn’t hate that I’d do ‘G.I. Joe’ and ‘Captain America’ and be like ‘Okay, you need to do something different than a soldier’,” he laughed. “I don’t want to be that guy that everybody’s like ‘We’ve seen you do that sort of thing.’”

And if Tatum – who was noticeably more bulked-up this week than I’ve ever seen him before -- does land the Cap role he would “really, really” love to play, he said that part of the fun would be engaging in all the Marvel cross-pollination that is building up to an “Avengers” flick in 2012.

“Oh yeah, for sure. Totally,” he insisted. “[‘Iron Man’] was great. I’m not a big, huge movie fan -- but with the [Marvel] ones I’ve seen in the last year or two, I’m starting to become a big movie fan.”

Do you think Tatum would make a good Captain America? Do you hope that the Will Smith thing is more than just a persistent Hollywood rumor? Or who else could you see playing the shield-tossing superhero?

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