Director Matthew Vaughn Leaves 'X-Men 3'

Director Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake) has left X-Men 3, with only nine weeks before principal photography, according to [a]AICN[/a].

The reasons behind Vaughn's departure are both surprising and unclear. Vaughn was instrumental in getting Kelsey Grammar on board to play Beast and Vinnie Jones as Juggernaught, and even helped with the script penned by Zak Penn and Simon Kinsberg.

"This is not a case of creative differences," Marvel exec Avi Arad said in a statement. "This is a personal decision by Matthew, and I can tell you that he is heartbroken. He loved this material, and he wanted to make this film."

Arad went on to say that Marvel and Fox will announce a new director in the coming days, as well as an announcement as to who will play Angel, a character that will play a big role in the next movie.

Principal photography is still scheduled to begin in nine weeks in Vancouver, with a targeted Memorial Day 2006 release to still happen as well.

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