Saturday, April 10, 2004
JAMES MARSDEN TALKS X-MEN MOVIES
James Marsden, who played Cyclops in the X-Men movies, said he hopes the third movie can continue the series' momentum.
"The biggest challenge in the first X-Men film was getting everybody introduced and all that exposition involved," Marsden said during his recent appearance at Wizard World Los Angeles, "for all those people who didn't know who the X-Men are and what kind of powers they have.
"Once we got that out of the way, we would have a little more fun and more action. Hopefully, that will snowball into the third and fourth or fifth or however many of these films we do."
"Part of the magic of something like this is having two people with extraordinary powers going at each other," added executive producer Tom DeSanto.
DeSanto and screenwriter Michael Dougherty joined Marsden for a lively question-and-answer session during the convention two weeks ago.
DeSanto said a third X-Men movie is in the very early stages.
"Fox is very hard at work trying to get contracts so we can all get back into the trenches and hopefully get the movie out within the next couple of years."
DeSanto said the goal is to shoot in 2005 for a 2006 release.
"That way, it's sort of following the pattern," DeSanto said. "I know there's reports online about 2005, but I don't know who's working on that movie."
Other highlights from the panel:
* Marsden said he felt "a tremendous responsibility" to get his character right for comics fans.
"I thought, 'Let's stay true to the comic book and true to the character,'" he said. "So I read a bunch of the comic books. (Director) Bryan Singer said, 'Check out the character and check out the issues, but don't get locked into it. Let the script be your comic book, your guide.'"
Marsden noted the cast became avid readers of the source material.
"When Bryan told Famke (Janssen, who plays Jean Grey) that her character was going to die, she said, 'Cool, so I get to come back as Phoenix,'" Marsden said.
* Marsden said the most difficult part of playing Cyclops was having his eyes covered. "As an actor, you always rely on your eyes, so I had that hanidcap," he said.
* According to Dougherty, every time Cyclops fired an optic blast on screen, it cost $13,000.
* Marsden on Hugh Jackman's Wolverine: "Hugh Jackman is one of the nicest men out there and the transformation that takes place between Hugh Jackman and Wolverine is phenomenal. It's like, where are these demons coming from?"
* Dougherty on the next story: "There's a thumbnail plan, but whether that happens, we'll just wait and see."
* Marsden said he still intends to star in a Preacher movie, although it's still speculative when it might go before the cameras.
Marsden said the current challenge for the filmmakers is funding.
"My agent got in touch with Rachel Talladay (director) last week, and they said, 'We're still on track. We're getting our stuff together and we're going to try to film this summer.'
"I kind of want to wait one more year, so I can become even more kind of weathered with a couple of extra wrinkles."
Marsden admitted that for hardcore Preacher fans it's "a challenging idea" to see him in the lead role.
"If there was ever role that I wanted to do some method acting, that's the role," he said.
"I went out and I got a couple of the graphic novels, and I was just captivated," he said. "It was some of the best writing I've ever read. The issues that it challeges. I just found it an amazing piece of literature."
* DeSanto said that an announcement should be made soon regarding the Transformers movie that he is producing. "I promise all the Transformers fans, it's in good hands," he said.
* DeSanto on reports that it's unlikely Halle Berry will return as Storm: "Halle's part of the family. She's Storm. She's been there since Day One. She's a great person and brings a lot to the role. My vote would be if we can't bring back someone from the cast, we just don't bring back the character."
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