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“X3” Doesn’t Mark Spot for Director
Another would-be X-Man has exited X3.
Just weeks before production was set to begin, British filmmaker Matthew Vaughn became the second helmer to drop directing duties on the third edition of the blockbuster superhero franchise.
Vaughn would have made his Hollywood directorial debut on the high-profile project after producing Guy Richie’s low-budget British gangster flicks Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch before finally helming one of his own, the recently released Layer Cake.
Despite its career-making potential, Vaughn had a very good reason for leaving X3: The London-based filmmaker didn’t want to be away from supermodel wife Claudia Schiffer and their two small children–two-year-old Casper and six-month-old Clementine–to spend the better part of year shacked up with mutants.
“As the shooting evolved, he realized he would have to move to Los Angeles and Vancouver for at least a year,” 20th Century Fox said in a statement. “Not wishing to uproot his family for an extended period, Vaughn opted to depart the production.
“We understand Matthew’s reasons for leaving, as nothing is more important than family.”
Shooting is scheduled to begin next month. Hutch Parker, president of 20th Century Fox, tells Daily Variety that the movie still “right on schedule” to make its planned May 26, 2006 release.
But Parker had no immediate word on who would replace Vaughn.
This is the second major X3 directorial defection. Bryan Singer, who helmed the first two X-Men films, skipped out to take the reins of Warner Bros.’ upcoming Superman Returns.
While Vaughn’s out, there have been a couple of key additions to the X3 roster. Fraiser’s Kelsey Grammer has been tapped to play Beast, the super-intelligent blue behemoth good guy, and Lock, Stock star Vinnie Jones is set to star as the evil, metal-clad Juggernaut.
Also making an appearance will be the winged Angel and Kitty Pryde, aka Shadowcat, who can pass through walls. That role is rumored to be going to Lost’s Maggie Grace.
No word yet if Halle Berry will be back as Storm–especially after her abysmal showing in Catwoman–but the rest of the key players are all on board, including Ian McKellen (Magneto), Patrick Stewart (Professor X) and Hugh Jackman (Wolverine).