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X-Men: A Tale of Two Theories

Joseph Curulla Ritz Manager
Adam Frazier Ritz Writer
Published 10-07-05
Graphic By: Tim Tuley

Joseph Curulla

Seriously now, X-Men is one of my favorite comics, and I am a huge fan boy of the movies as well. However, I am scared to death that this third installment is going to equally suck and blow. Several issues in the X-Universe have been brought to my attention that need to be addressed before this movie comes out. So let us begin our discussion.

First off, Bryan Singer did a fantastic job with the first two. So, if I am a big time production company and I am planning a third movie, obviously I am not going to offer this man a deal to do it, I'm just going to assume that he is doing it. Fox decided this would be their plan as they held out on his contract. I am not blind to the entertainment industry; I know everyone there is most likely out for money. So it didn't shock me to find Bryan Singer signing to do Superman Returns, probably set to be next summer's box office smash. It did surprise me, however, that Fox did not try any negotiations with Singer and instead decided to have X-Men 3 go toe to toe with this movie in theaters. Perhaps not the smartest move.

Keep in mind my comment about Singer. He left the project. A person that is signed on to a project usually has the rapport to deal with most of the actors. Once again, it hurts me deeply to see this happen. James Marsden (Cyclops) decided to jump ship and join the Superman cast as Lois Lane's love interest. Really, to go from being the leader of the X-Men to the love interest of someone that crushes on Superman just doesn't make sense. Sadly, contrary to IMDb, we will probably not see Cyclops have a starring role in this movie as he'll likely be involved with the storyline in a very minor role.

Fox had to replace their director because, well, they found themselves without a director. First up on their list was Joss Whedon who is best known for his Buffy/Angel series. Whedon is a huge X-Men fan and even writes Astonishing X-Men, the top-selling comic for 2005. He would have been a great replacement since he is familiar with the product and had amazing ideas of where to take the story. Fox dropped the ball though, as Whedon was never offered a true contract and decided the project wasn't for him because they had no interest in him. Now people may be thinking he wasn't the right choice; however, for the casting of most of the actors in this third installment, the script they read from was none other than an Astonishing X-Men comic. Obviously his work was appreciated, just not him as a person.

I have a huge problem with the lack of a cast. Alan Cumming did a fantastic job as Nightcrawler so naturally it was decided that Nightcrawler wouldn't be in this movie. Halle Berry threatened to walk and may or may not be a part of this movie, in which case thank goodness, as she did not exactly do quality work in the last film. The girl who played Kitty Pryde was replaced by an older actress, screwing with continuity. No good film enthusiast likes to see a change of cast in the middle of a trilogy. Again the issue with Cyclops arises, as this story is based on the Phoenix Saga, and yes, Cyclops is heavily involved in that one. About Kelsey Grammer as the Beast: Kelsey Grammer voicing the Beast would have been a good idea, but the Beast is a large character with muscles and fur and, well, have you ever seen Frasier? Poor choice indeed.

Now, X-Men 3 sounded great on paper. I am still excited for it, but I have my doubts. Brett Ratner's best work has been the Rush Hour movies, which were not the same kind of movie as X-Men. Casting has really crippled this movie because people have been absent. Fox has just not put the amount of time and effort into this film as they did previous films. This is evidenced by the fact that the movie is set to open on May 26, 2006, while, sadly, the filming began in the beginning of September. You simply cannot rush good movies. As an X-men enthusiast, I have the highest hopes for this movie, but it seems bit by bit Fox is determined to tear it down.

Adam Frazier

X-Men and X2: X-Men United are arguably the most authentic and entertaining of Marvel's string of comic book-based films. Unlike Spider-Man and Marvel's other blockbuster successes, the X-Men series attempts a more serious approach to the comic book design, examining psychological issues under the facade of super powers and nice special effects.

The third installment, which is slated for release on May 26, 2006, has the potential to be the best of the series with more new characters making appearances than X2. Written by Zak Penn (X2, Elektra, Fantastic Four) and Simon Kinberg (Mr. & Mrs. Smith), the tentatively titled X-Men 3 will not be directed by mutant-experienced Bryan Singer who directed the first two films.

Singer, who is busy filming Superman Returns, left the project wide-open for several directors to jump at the chance to take the helm. Layer Cake director Matthew Vaughn was going to direct it but departed from it nine weeks before principal photography, leaving Bret Ratner (Rush Hour, Red Dragon, After The Sunset) as "the chosen one."

Ironically enough, Ratner was originally considered to direct 2000's X-men and was also initially attached to Superman Returns, leaving the project because he and Warner Bros. couldn't agree on who to cast for the role. So essentially the two directors just swapped places.

While no one really knows the storyline for the third film, the The Internet Movie Database has put up a cast list that shows some pretty surprising characters making an appearance. The main cast from the first two films return, even Halle Berry who was threatening to walk if she didn't get a more active role. Who isn't returning, however, is Nightcrawler, played terrifically by Alan Cumming in X2.

Colossus (Daniel Cudmore), Siryn (Shauna Kain), Jubilee (Kea Wong) and Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) all reprise their roles as maturing students at the X-Academy. I think it's safe to say that these characters, along with Rogue (Anna Paquin) will join the older members as real X-Men. Aaron Stanford will also return to play John Allerdyce, better known as Pyro to fans, who has defected to The Brotherhood of Mutants.

Joining the cast is Vinnie Jones (Snatch, Gone in Sixty Seconds) as Juggernaut, Kelsey Grammar (Frasier) as Beast, Ben Foster (The Punisher, Hostage) as Angel, Richard Hoggard (Summerland) as Avalanche and Ellen Page (Hard Candy) as Kitty Pryde, known to fans as Shadowcat.

Rumors are running rampant about who else may be included in X-Men 3. Zak Penn confirmed that Gambit would not be included in the film, which will leave some fanboys seething. IGN has confirmed that Jamie Madrox, known as Multiple Man to X-fans, will be in the film. One X-men fan site, xmenfilms.net, exclusively revealed that Eric Dane (Charmed) would be playing the role.

Who else might show up? Sentinels, Omega Red, Legion, Gauntlet – the list goes on and on. Aside from X-Men 3, a Wolverine spin-off has been slated for 2007 – yet more possibilities for mutant cameos. We'll just have to wait until May 26 to find out who is and who isn't included in the film.

The film's official website is set to enter the online world sometime in October. Until then, you can check out the teaser poster here.

Adam Frazier drives an El Camino and sports a vicious mullet.
Joseph belongs to the League of Extraordinary Batman, no really, he does.

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X-Men is my favorite comic!
Posted by Zoe

I am sad not to see Nightcrawler in this installment, as (I agree with both of you!) he is one of my favorite characters, and was played excellently by Alan Cumming.

I find it strange that Jubilee will be featured in the movie...considering that Rogue (how she is portrayed in the movies) is virtually a clone of Jubilee. That in itself irritates me, considering that Rogue was my favorite character of the comic and they turned her into Jubilee for the movies (bye bye potential Gambit love interest/ Rogue being Mystique's adopted daughter and Nightcrawler's foster sister sub-plot).

I am excited about seeing Shadowcat, Beast, and Angel in the movie! Awesome characters; i'm interested to see what they will do with them.

Zoe Is Awesome
Posted by Adam Frazier

Well, Jubilee has been in the other two movies... and odds are she'll be in 3 as much as she was in the past two, which is hardly at all. I'm sure she'll just walk by with a yellow jacket on so we can assume it's her. I too would like to see Rogue portrayed differently. Maybe they'll have her touch someone like Storm (since Ms. Marvel isn't around) so she can absorb some flying powers?
Posted by Shaun

Joseph, I agree with a lot of what you said. This whole production seems rushed, and Fox really screwed the pooch not getting Whedon (although X3's loss is Wonder Woman's gain). I think casting Kelsey Grammar as the Beast was a brilliant move. He has the voice and mannerisms down pat. As for the body: CGI. That said, here's what I want to see in X3: 1) Sentinels! 2) Anna Paquin in bra and panties 3)Mr. Sinister. 4)Multiple Man (my fave X-man) in a big way 4)Another Wolverine beserker rage 5) Did I mention Mr. Sinister?
Posted by Nick

Im all about seeing Logan owning some Sentinels. That will make the movie. The issue of Gambit not being in the movie.. Well.. Lets say Im not going to lose any sleep over this. Gambit has to be the worst X-Men character ever besides Cyclops. We can only pray that Cyclops will die in this movie. But the main reason we are all going to see this...is Phoenix and Juggernaut..you know it.
Joss Whedon?
Posted by Adam Frazier

I'm sorry but I don't want Sci-Fi Channel effects and storylines... This is a major motion picture, and I'd prefer if Joss Whedon kept his hands off of it. Besides, I don't see why everyone is worried about Singer not being involved... did you happen to miss that Penn, who WROTE X2 is writing X3?

Also, Beast won't be CGI - he will be a blue muscle suit with hair... very similar to Hellboy and The Thing's makeup. Also, Ratner is judged for the movies he's done, but what did Singer do besides X-Men? Oh that's right... nothing.

Oh yeah...
Posted by Adam Frazier

And I almost forgot, Pyro was played by someone totally different in the first film, when he wasn't a main character. Kitty Pryde has went through TWO differnt actresses - and Jubilee was also played by a different girl in the first film.

So, in all honesty - if a character is simply a "background character" it can be assumed that a different actor would have to step up and play that role when they actually have lines and action scenes. You don't want an extra spouting off one-liners do you? And Nick, I too cannot wait to see Juggernaut Vs. Colossus - my head will explode.

No Subject
Posted by Some Anonymous Whim Reader

No Subject
Posted by Some Anonymous Whim Reader

No Subject
Posted by thomas king

hmmm the executive representer of the FOX NETWORK i would just like to ease everyones fears first of all we will have a star cast of X-men none of u should worry the role of cyclops shall be played by Jackie chan, while beast was enthusiastically taken on might i add by chris tucker can anyone say rush hour 3...the role of nightcrawler will be played by Chris Rock and finally Rogue will be played by russel crow i feel very strongly about the up comming installment of X-men 3 "straight out of compton"
Bryan Singer
Posted by Shaun

Adam, you ask what did Singer did before X-men? He did at least two films prior: Apt Pupil, which I haven't seen so I can't judge, and The Usual Suspects, which was quite good. Please do some more research before you make such statements. And as for Sci-fi Channel effects and Whedon--they have a Sci-Fi Channel budget. I'm sure that if Whedon had been given the directorial reigns (and in a sane world, he would have been), I'm quite sure Fox would have gave him pretty much all the money he would have needed to realize the potential of what he had envsioned.
Posted by Adam Frazier

I know he made those films...

I'm saying that he wasn't really an established/well-known director before touching that material. Before X-Men if you said Bryan Singer, everyone would just say, "Who?" - and the same is true for Ratner. You don't know who he is, but you know Rush Hour - whether you like it or you hate it, you know it. Regardless of the direction, the story is being crafted by the same person who is responsible for X2 - and I'm compeletely comfortable knowing that fact.

Not to mention Ratner was considered for the first X-men, and also Fox handed the original X-Men script to Joss Whedon (to add some humor) and Joss decided that the script needed to be re-wrote entirely. He sent in his version of the script to Fox who threw out out... that's why he's not included in the project, they obviously took offense to that or just didn't like what he did with it.

I disagree
Posted by Andrew Lent

People who were fans of the Usual Suspects definitely knew who Bryan Singer was before he did X-Men, that was part of the excitement surrounding X-Men in itself.

I didn't realize that Singer did Apt Pupil. I thought that was a damn good movie.

Posted by Adam Frazier

I enjoy The Usual Suspects as well, but as an X-Men fan - I didn't have any particular excitement when I heard he would be directing - I just hoped he was a big fan and read the comics, and he did a good job.

Is he the only person who can do a good job? I don't think so. Ratner is apparently a huge comic fan - so I'm satisfied.

Posted by Nick

It doesn’t matter about Singer anyways... because he isn’t going to be doing it.. and this is about X Men III.. So no point in trying to feel like a bad ass, by putting in some small details of his life to try and prove someone ‘wrong’.
Posted by Nick

And no idea why i put the subject 'adam...' haha! Lets talk about the important stuff about X-Men III.. like Phoenix.. anyone have any shots of her?
No Subject
Posted by Joseph Curulla

The thing about it Adam, is that Bret Rattner may have been asked originally to do X1, but he didn't do it. Singer did and made it a huge success. Rattner has some great movies that he has done, Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2. I'm not expecting some kind of great thing here and I swear if I hear one of the X-men look at another and say "don't ever touch my stereo", I'm walking out of the theater.

Whedon may not be one of the best major motion film people, but he has the experience and the know for the characters. Singer also had that knowledge.

Regardless of who is doing the movie, it is still being rushed. It's ridiculous how quick they are doing things to get this movie done also the fact that people are just walking on the set right now and taking pictures shows me a few things: 1. Fox is not interested in this project 2. Rattner and the cast are all probably freaking out beyond belief at the fact that they have to hurry this up.

To go back to other posts, Zoe, Rogue's role is actually more of Shadowcat or Kitty Pryde. When Wolverine and Kitty both joined the X-Men they became friends way before Jubilee. So Kitty is always Wolverine's sidekick. Jubilee came much later and the writers even said when they did the first X-Men that Rogue was basically a Kitty in surprise. Jubilee was more of a cartoony character who did a lot more in the cartoon then she ever really did in the comics. Don't even get me started on her own series.

Posted by Adam Frazier

"This is evidenced by the fact that the movie is set to open on May 26, 2006, while, sadly, the filming began in the beginning of September. You simply cannot rush good movies."

The filming date is correct and the tenative release is correct, but beyond that - I don't see any real evidence or facts that support the idea of this film being rushed. September to April isn't really that short of a time period for filming.

That's 8 months. Keep in mind that they are doing "post-production" work such as special effects AT THE SAME TIME as filming. This cuts down on the time dramatically - There also as much blue screening and special effects as say Star Wars where the post-production stage can last over a year.

If you're really going to argue that it's being rushed, maybe some facts about X-men and X2's filming lengths should have been mentioned instead of throwing out an opinionated statement.

As for walking on sets and taking pictures, I can't think of one single movie where that hasn't happened. When you film outside there are obviously going to be fans around to watch it. Who didn't see Spider-man shots during filming?

Filming Dates
Posted by Adam Frazier

IMDB has the filming dates for X-men as: September 1999 to February 2000

IMDB also has X2's filming dates as: June 2002 to October 2002

So, 7 months for X-men and 5 months for X2? Doesn't look that rushed to me personally.

No Subject
Posted by Joseph Curulla

If you'll notice the pictures being taken are of indoor sets. Not that it mattters anyway, you're still set on it being your way. You threw out plenty of opinion as well Adam, so please don't contradict my opinions by saying they are mere opinions.

I want you to realize a few things:

IMDB is a pretty factual website but they are not always correct in everything they post. They do not have all the facts and sometimes just assume. That's why if you look up an actor such as a male it may also have some little note, "also goes by the name, Jamie Lee Curtis". It happens all the time so don't tell me IMDB is the god site.

2. X-Men 3 is a rushed movie. The only reason they are doing it in May is so that it beats Superman. This wasn't the original plan for it as they've basically just finished all their castings and what-nots.

3. I have no problem with them changing characters around that aren't that big such as Pyro from the first movie to the second. They changed Kitty Pryde 3 times now. Don't you think it gets a little excessive to change this character each time.

4. There is no reason to do a Phoenix Saga story, when one of the main characters will probably not even partake that much into it(Cyclops). That's a huge reason why this movie is rushed. Had they waited until after Superman, they could get Cyclops for the movie for a whole period of production time.

Don't you dare tell me that they are not rushing this when they screw around with a main character as obviously you have no idea what you're talking about.

Again, I'm all for this movie, as I loved the last two and want nothing but the best for the third. I'm just sad to say that I'm worried it won't live up to expectations, when they screw around with all the heavy-hitters.

Ah, The End
Posted by Adam Frazier

I think that judging by his role in the past two films, Cyclops hasn't really done anything. The only reason I would even consider him as a "main character" is because he's the leader of the X-men and connect to Jean Grey. They weren't rushed when they used him for the first two were they? I mean, he disappeared for most of the second film only to show up as a mindless soldier for Styker. From the first time they met, Cyclops has been shadowed by Wolverine in the films...

I'm not saying any of this with anger or contempt towards you or your opinions, I'm just stating it. IMDB might not be a 'god' site, but it's probably the best reference for films when compared to fan sites.

The pictures of Worthington Labs are definitely outside - the pictures of Magneto, Xavier, Storm and Wolverine also appear to be on an outside sound stage.

I hate when they change actors/actresses also, I definitely agree with you - I would definitely have a problem if someone came in and tried to be Storm or Wolverine, but as for people who haven't even spoke a line yet - I'm not too concerned.

I also believe that we shouldn't be worried about all these new characters, because I feel for the most part it will just be small cameos. Maybe there will be a montage of some military agency capturing mutants and that's where we'll see Avalance etc. The filming dates for the first two films really say something though, as it appears that X3 is on the same schedule as the first film - and with the advances in film making since then, I believe it will probably be a tight schedule, but not too entirely rushed.

Sure maybe they want to compete with Superman, but obviously you want a big blockbuster like this to hit the summer movie market - to make sure you get as much bang for your buck. It will be competing with a lot of other films.

And in closing, any opinions I made about this topic was done in comments, my story is basically devoid of any sort of stance on the movie itself. I just delivered (cited and researched)information and allow the readers to decide what they think.

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