Out good guy Sir Ian McKellen is in negotiations to return to the role of mutant bad guy Magneto in X-Men 3 for 20th Century Fox and Marvel Entertainment, according to Daily Variety. With Hugh Jackman set for Wolverine and Halle Berry and Patrick Stewart in talks to return, the major new element in the mix is British director Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake), who's been tapped to direct the next installment of the comic-based action franchise. Filming is set to start in early summer.
Vaughn produced 1998's Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and 2000's Snatch, both directed by Guy Ritchie. Layer Cake, a gangster film directed by Vaughn, will be released in the United States this spring by Sony Classics. On the strength of its performance in the United Kingdom, according to Variety, Layer Cake put Vaughn in the running for major franchises like the Harry Potter and James Bond films.
Bryan Singer, who directed the first two X-Men films, is now working on Warner Bros.' new Superman movie. Fox is said to be eyeing a Memorial Day 2006 opening for X-Men 3.