In less than three months, we’ll all have the answer to one of the biggest questions on the minds of movie buffs everywhere: Will X-Men: The Last Stand live up the high standards of the franchise? Until it hits theaters on May 26, however, you’ll have to divine answers from Tim Stack’s story in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, in which he tackles such subjects as what the movie’s about, how exactly Brett Ratner took over the director’s gig from Bryan Singer, and whether The Last Stand will, in fact, be the last stand for everyone’s favorite big-screen mutants. Here’s what he found out:
The end of X2 seemed to set up a third installment focusing on a Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix story line that would follow the evolution of the goody-two-shoes character (played by Famke Janssen) into a super-baddie. But the driving plot of The Last Stand turns out to be the discovery of a “cure” for mutations. Why the switch? “To start and end the movie with just Dark Phoenix is silly,” says Marvel Studios CEO Avi Arad. “It’s not enough – you run out of story.” But Twentieth Century Fox chairman Tom Rothman says the new direction will still thrill: “It has one of the coolest beginnings. It begins with [Patrick Stewart’s] Xavier and [Ian McKellen’s] Magneto together as young men.” And devotees of Halle Berry/Storm (pictured with, from left to right, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Kelsey Grammer) will be relieved to know that the weather-wielding mutant is central to the third film and, more importantly, has a new wig.
As for what Mr. Stack uncovered about fanboys’ hateration for Ratner, you’ll just have to pick up EW’s latest issue.