Empire magazine reports that Kelsey Grammar is set to play Beast in the third X-Men movie, set for release in May 2006. Great casting, I say, because Beast and Frasier Crane's temperaments are identical: prudent, curious, extremely eloquent, bookish, etc. I'm interested to see how Grammar will look with a boatload of the necessary makeup and padding. This bit of casting seems to indicate an upward trend in the franchise. The first X-Men movie was a hideous tragedy of misdirection and disorder -- the story sucked, the movie was only 80-some minutes long, and Cyclops, Rogue, and Jean Grey were miscast. The sequel was glorious, mostly because of Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, and better writing that actually addressed the sociological issues the comic taps for inspiration. Now with Beast in the mix, and a new director, X3 looks promising. Now if we could only get David Hyde Pierce as, well, Beast's psychiatrist brother.