For young superheroes-to-be, the call to greatness can come at any time. ''I had literally just graduated high school,'' says Ellen Page, the 19-year-old Nova Scotian actress chosen by director Brett Ratner to walk through walls as the occasionally intangible Kitty Pryde in the third installment of the X-Men series. Page, who'd been chilling at home in Halifax for more than a year since wrapping the just-released indie Hard Candy, had some misgivings about leaping into unfamiliar super-saga territory. ''I was in the midst of 'crazy teenager,' you know: swimming, partying, having a great time. I was like, 'This could lead to a lot of changes in my life.'''
Change is at the core of The Last Stand. When a cure for the genetic aberrations that grant the mutants their powers is discovered, the embattled X-Men must choose between retaining their alienating gifts and becoming ''normal'' members of society. With an enormous cast that includes X-vets Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart, as well as newcomers Page, Kelsey Grammer (Beast), and Ben Foster (Angel), all sorts of choices can be made. And despite the finality of the title, there's always a chance these superheroes could battle evil in summers to come.
''This is not the last movie,'' says Ralph Winter, a producer on all three X-Men films. ''There are a lot more stories. There's a wealth of characters. We tried to fit Angel into three movies. This is the first time we ever got Angel in.''
Foster likens the impending attention to a coming storm. ''It's already begun.... People come up to me on the street screaming 'Angel!''' laments the former Six Feet Under costar. ''You know, there are worse things that people can yell at you on the street.''