Kelsey Grammer is Beast in X-Men 3! got a chance to talk to Marvel Studios President and CEO Avi Arad on Tuesday afternoon about X-Men 3 and he revealed new details about the anticipated third installment.

“It’s about to go,” Avi says about the film. We asked whether it would build on the first two films. “In my opinion, X3, from a story and script perspective, it’s bigger than one and two. It’s the concept behind the movie that’s bigger than one and two. It’s building on our world, building on the world of mutants. In movie one you got to know what a mutant is and had to deal with it visavis humanity and the brotherhood. The second one was actually sort of a continuation but we were able to have more fun with it.”

Which brings us to the big news. “And movie three features Angel, Beast, Kitty Pryde and Juggernaut. Right there you have worth the price of admission. And there are more, those are just the ones we can talk about. Juggernaut you had it already on your site, that is [Vinnie] Jones. That was accurate. Angel is not done yet, we’re looking at a few guys, but it’s a big role, so… we are very close, a few more days. Angel is a great emotional story. It’s a very big role in this movie and so is Kitty Pryde, where we have some high choices that are great but it’s just not locked up yet.” Lost star Maggie Grace is in talks for the role.

Then we got to Beast. “It was the best man for the job. The name is… Kelsey Grammer! If you would have seen his read. It is kinda weird when you think about it for a second, and the key was with the X-Men movies is get the best man for the job. He blew us out of the park. Yeah, yeah, and he’s also my neighbor…” As we laughed, Arad reassured us that the “Frasier” star is the right man for the job. “When you look at it you see how again we are continuing with inspired choices.”

So what can we expect Grammer’s Beast to be like? “Super intelligent. A pacifist Ph.D as he should be. I cannot tell you what he does in the movie because it’s an amazing… it’s a very big role in this movie. The subject matter of this movie, we don’t take Beast lightly. It was someone that we didn’t take into one and two because we were busy with other characters and Beast needs to be a centerpiece… and so is Angel, they had to be centerpieces. Too much going on within the story, the origin.”

We asked Avi whether Grammer will be wearing a suit like The Thing, played by Michael Chiklis, in Fantastic Four. “You will see Beast like you’ve never seen him before. It’s going to be very true to the comic. Of course we’re building a suit and hair, you name it. Without going into detail, he’s a very central character here in the movie and very much within what Hank McCoy is, Dr. McCoy.”

Layer Cake director Matthew Vaughn is taking over from the first two films’ director Bryan Singer. “I’m glad that ‘Layer Cake’ came out to help people understand who this guy is,” said Arad. We’ve known him for a long time, but once we saw Layer Cake… You know he produces movies and he does understand the role, the sets and writing. There’s a lot of functions. Some producers are lucky enough to take the plunge, to say ‘that’s it, I’m going to go for it’.

Asked whether anyone from the first two movies is not coming back, Arad said that “they’re all coming back.” Is there anything we can expect for Dark Phoenix or Gambit? “Well, just saying that Famke is coming back, we’ll leave it to people’s imagination to figure it out. And no comment on Gambit.”

Avi added that 20th Century Fox expects to start shooting at the end of July. “We’ve been in active pre-production, costuming and all these things for quite a while. It’s not starting at ground zero.”

While we also asked about the other projects in development (click here for his answers), we got a few brief update on the other possible films in the “X-Men” franchise. Arad said that the Wolverine spin-off is “being written, you know David Benioff is writing it. We’ll look at it and at the end of the day, if the script gets everybody excited… if David just knocks it out of the park, we want to make it. The when will be answered when we read it.” He just said that the Magneto spin-off is in development.

Regarding X-Men 4, Arad said they’ll have to wait and see. “You have to look at it. You say, ‘Yeah I want to make X-Men 4’, but let’s see what we can make fresh and exciting that warrants making another one”.

X-Men 3 is currently scheduled for a May 26, 2006 release.

Source: Superhero Hype!