Tatum is now lining up to take the lead in "White House Down," Sony's pricey action pic that has already seen them plunk down $3 million on the script by James Vanderbilt ("The Amazing Spider-Man," "Zodiac"). Said to be a cross between "Die Hard" and "Air Force One," Tatum will play a single dad (emotional stakes alert!) and Secret Service agent who has to save the president and defend the highest office in the land when it comes under a paramilitary attack. Already showing he can lead romance and comedies to big box office, this will be a test of Tatum in the action sphere. Of course, he went down this road with "G.I. Joe: Rise Of The Cobra" but a) that movie was a piece of shit and b) in the short time that has elapsed since then, his stock has gone up considerably.
Sony is racing to beat Relativity's rival project "White House Taken"/"Olympus Has Fallen" which basically has the same plot, but with Gerard Butler in the lead. Something tells us the casting of Tatum puts Sony one step ahead. There won't be much time to rest for Tatum this summer. He'll be promoting "Magic Mike" and then headed back in front of cameras to shoot this pic which already has a November 1, 2013 release date locked in. [THR]