MTV has conducted a gigantic interview with Marvel Studios chairman and CEO, Avi Avrad. In the interview Avrad discusses the furture of various comic-to-film properties and what fans can expect from the Marvel characters they love.
On the X-Men franchise:
"I've never seen a reaction like that," Arad says of the Internet buzz that erupted after the casting of Kelsey Grammer as Beast was announced. He also confirms that Vinnie Jones (Bullet Tooth Tony from Snatch) will play Juggernaut and that the cast from the first two movies are "all coming back." Regarding Jean Grey's possible evolution at the end of the last movie, however, Arad says, "Dark Phoenix should not be the centerpiece of the movie."
On the X-Men spin-offs:
Arad will also oversee two spinoffs from the X-Men series: one about Magneto ("It's being written. It's going to be a smaller movie, [but] very true to the origin") and a "2007/2008" film with Wolverine ("Totally different, just Wolverine's journey"). The Magneto film will star an actor much younger than the one we're used to seeing, but that doesn't mean that the man who originated the role for the big screen is on the outs.
On Ghost Rider:
The film faces the huge challenge of making a fiery, murderous, flaming-skull-headed creature sympathetic to audiences. Arad says it will have a PG-13 rating and a "Southern rock" soundtrack and ethos, and that one scene will feature the motorcycle-riding protagonist facing the unlikely challenge of a tidal wave.
On Spider-man 3:
While insisting that rumors of a simultaneous third and fourth Spider-Man movie shoot are simply "not true," Arad did confirm that Dylan Baker will return for the third film — a noteworthy nugget for comic fans who recall that Baker's handicapped character, Dr. Curt Connors, went on to become Spider-Man nemesis the Lizard in the comic books. Although Thomas Haden Church and Topher Grace are set to play the main, as-yet-unnamed villains of the third film, the seeds are apparently being planted for Spidey to also someday take on a superhumanly strong, green-scaled monster.
On The Silver Surfer:
Also in the mix is "Silver Surfer," an ambitious project that Arad insists will move along "pretty fast. Silver Surfer, from a spectacle standpoint, is second to none. It's 'Independence Day' meets Marvel, times 10." A major announcement about the film is due relatively soon.
"There is a director who should make 'Silver Surfer' — he is mentally committed to it. He's doing another movie now. What's most important to me about this guy, first, is that he's incredible with visuals. But he's also a spiritual guy, a Zen Buddhist." Arad also confirms that the enormous planet devourer Galactus will be in the movie, but chances are he'll be all-CGI. "Galactus is a force of nature, not a being. That's all I'm saying."