Variety confirms what the gossip mill has been churning: Brett Ratner (director of both "Rush Hour" movies, as well as "Money Talks," "The Family Man," "After the Sunset," and "Red Dragon") has signed on to replace Matthew Vaughn as director of the third "X-Men" movie.
Whether or not the hardcore comic-book community will embrace this decision remains to be seen, but the quick hiring of Mr. Ratner means that "X-Men 3" is still on course to make its May 2006 release date. The director comes into a production that includes veterans Hugh Jackman & Patrick Stewart, newcomers Kelsey Grammer & Vinnie Jones, and an allegedly fantastic screenplay by Simon Kinberg & Zak Penn.
To his credit, Ratner is a self-admitted comics fan and was among the directors considered to helm the original "X-Men" movie. On the other hand, very little in Mr. Ratner’s filmography indicates that he has the knack for this sort of ultra-flashy, high-end spectacle. Keep your fingers crossed, X-Fans!