Kelsey Grammar to Play “Beast” in X-Men 3
Kelsey Grammar, famous for the Frasiser Crane character in “Cheers” and its spin-off “Frasier,” will play the Beast in X-Men 3.
Kelsey Grammer has been tapped to play Beast–the super-intelligent blue behemoth, in the forthcoming X-Men 3, according to Variety. He’ll be joined by two other new X-Men recruits, Kitty Pryde, aka Shadowcat, who can pass through walls (Lost’s Maggie Grace is reported to be the top candidate), and the winged Angel. They’ll square off against another evil mutant, the metal-clad giant Juggernaut, to be played by Vinnie Jones (Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels).
British director Matthew Vaughn is taking over behind the camera from Bryan Singer (who is helming the new Superman). X-Men 3 is slated to hit theaters over Memorial Day 2006.
It’s interesting that he’ll apparently be sporting the blue fur the character had by the time he joined the Avengers in the 1970s rather than the classic version from his X-Men debut in the Silver Age.
Henry McCoy’s father, Norton, worked at a nuclear power plant where he was exposed to massive amounts of radiation during an accident. Norton was unharmed, but the radiation affected his genes, and as a result his son Henry was born a mutant. Unlike most superhuman mutants, Henry showed signs of mutation from birth: unusually large hands and feet.
Thanks to his superhuman agility, strength, and speed, Henry became a star football player as a teenager. His remarkable athletic abilities attracted the notice of both Professor Charles Xavier, who was forming the original X-Men, and a costumed criminal named El Conquistador. The Conquistador captured McCoy’s parents in order to force McCoy to aid him in his criminal schemes. However, with the help of Xavier and the X-Men, Henry defeated the Conquistador, and he then joined the X-Men, taking the code name “Beast.”
A brilliant student, McCoy completed his doctoral studies under Xavier’s tutelage, and finally left the X-Men and Xavier’s school to take a position as a genetic researcher with the Brand Corporation. There he developed a serum that acted as a catalyst for activating latent mutations. On drinking the serum McCoy underwent radical physical changes. He grew fur over his entire body, his ears became larger and pointed, and his canine teeth became larger, resembling fangs. The serum also further increased his superhuman agility, endurance, speed, and strength.
Eventually, McCoy left Brand, joined the Avengers, and publicly revealed his dual identity. After years of service with the Avengers (during which he also aided the X-Men against Dark Phoenix), the Beast took it upon himself to reorganize another super-hero group, the Defenders, into a more formal combat organization. His X-Men cohorts Angel and Iceman served in the Defenders along with him, but the team collapsed after a climactic battle in which several other members seemingly perished.
Subsequently, the Beast and his fellow members of the original X-Men formed a new organization, the original X-Factor, which publicly appeared to hunt down allegedly dangerous mutants but secretly taught them how to use their superhuman abilities. Shortly after the formation of X-Factor, the Beast was captured by the geneticist Dr. Carl Maddicks, who performed an experiment that caused the Beast to revert to his original, more human appearance. Some time later, however, the mutagenic powers of the mutant Infectia triggered the Beast’s return to his furry, more animalistic appearance.
After Professor Charles Xavier returned to Earth following an extended period in outer space with the Starjammers, the Beast and his fellow X-Factor founders returned to the X-Men. At present the Beast remains an active member of the X-Men as well as serving as a research scientist at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning.
Either way, Kelsey Grammar seems like an odd fit. He’s got the brains to play McCoy but certainly not the build.
Update (1501): Marvel Directory’s entry on X-Men has photos of the original team as well as the later iteration. Beast is the big lummox in the old version and has blue fur in the second.