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You've gotta respect a guy who can boss the X-Men around without fearing the wrath of Wolverine.

Ralph Winter is a towering, authoritative figure in stature and in reputation as a producer of Hollywood blockbusters. He's earned the attention and applause of audiences, actors, film crews, and film studios for producing such favorites as X-Men, X-2: X-Men United, the Planet of the Apes remake, and two of the most beloved Star Trek films (IV and VI). His latest production, Fantastic Four, opens in theaters next week, and he's now working on X-Men 3, coming next May. Winter also produced the Left Behind movie and an adaptation of Frank Peretti's The Visitation, due in September.

But there's more to this big-screen businessman than business. He has a heart to help artists grow and excel, contributing to endeavors at Act One: Writing for Hollywood (a program for aspiring Christian screenwriters), and the media communications program at Biola University, and he devotes himself to the art of short films, cultivating a dynamic community of up-and-coming artists.

Moreover, he's a man of faith known throughout Hollywood for his reputation for professionalism, integrity and kindness.

To talk with Winter is to quickly discern some of the secrets of his success. He speaks with the confidence and authority of experience, and he cuts right to the quick of a matter. We caught up with him just as Fantastic Four moved into post-production and X-3 headed into pre-production. But what he wanted to talk about surprised us—a big screen adaptation that serves quite another, er, purpose.

Web geeks and movie buffs are buzzing with speculation about X-3. Can you give us a hint of what we can look forward to?

Ralph Winter: We will definitely be out ...

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July 2005

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