It’s been one helluva month for X-Men 3. First, excitement fizzes as Brit hardman Vinnie Jones and Frasier pseud Kelsey Grammer both sign on for Matthew Vaughn’s revamped super-sequel. Then, just as cameras are set to roll, Vaughn quits.
Citing personal reasons, the Layer Cake man is the second director, after Bryan Singer, to walk. Vaughn, though, assures Total Film that it has nothing to do with the size of the job. “I’m not phased by making movies,” he tells us. “I think it’s easier to make a film with $200 million than it is for $960,000, to be frank. I’m doing what I think is right.” And he was only too happy to reveal exactly why Vinnie Jones is tailormade for superhero status. “Vinnie has the biggest head you’ve ever seen!” laughs Vaughn. “He looks like a living cartoon, so I think he’ll fit right in.” Which is good news, because Jones has landed a huge role: none other than Professor X’s villainous stepbrother, Juggernaut – a near-unstoppable mutant boasting superhuman strength and iron-clad resilience. “I thought it’d be very interesting to have this English thug next to Patrick Stewart,” explains Vaughn. “Then, when I went to the place where they make all the prosthetics, I saw the clay model and I thought it was Vinnie!”
With Jones in and Grammer now sprouting fur as brainiac blue monster Beast, casting is locked. And the same goes for X3’s May 2006 release. Meaning? Whoever picks up the megaphone had better move fast...