Brett Ratner Talks 'X Men 3'

Director Brett

Ratner has been hired to replace Matthew Vaughn as director of the anticipated

third sequel in the "X-Men" film series.

Vaughn dropped

the project less than a week ago for personal reason.

A comic book fan,

Ratner appeared eager to take the helms of such a huge film. He was ironically

among the viable candidates considered to direct the first "X-Men,"

which was ultimately given to Bryan Singer.

"Ever since

I was a small kid I read comic books," Ratner told "Directing

'X-Men 3' is a dream come true!"

According to Variety, the

original "X-Men" stars have been signed on to shoot the third installment

of the film, in addition to Kelsey Grammar, Vinnie Jones and Maggie Grace, who

will play new mutant characters.


the standards very high," said Ratner. "It will be a huge challenge

for me. But I am confident because of the excellent script I was given."

"X-Men 3"

is scheduled to open in theaters during Memorial Day weekend 2006.

Ratner was also

reportedly assumed to take on "Rush Hour 3" after directing the first

two installments of the film starring Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan.

Tucker's reluctance

to sign his $20 million deal promptly has delayed the film's production, and

Ratner's hiring is expected to further hold up the film, which is likely to

miss New Line Cinema's expected fall start and summer 2006 release dates.

Ratner rose to

prominence while a student at NYU. He was hired by Russell Simmons to direct

a video featuring Run-DMC.

In the 1990's,

Ratner directed videos for such stars as Heavy D., Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, Mariah

Carey and the Wu-Tang Clan.

Ratner has also

directed such flicks as "After the Sunset," "Rush Hour"

and "Red Dragon." Ratner also helped produce Roc-A-Fella films classic

Hip-Hop drama, "Paid in Full," the story of a Harlem drug gang.