Though Matthew Vaughn would eventually go on to direct 2011’s X-Men: First Class, he was originally in the mix to direct 2006’s X-Men: The Final Stand, the final film in the original X-Men trilogy; however, there was one incident that he cites as the big reason for why he ultimately chose to turn down the stint. The reason Vaughn turned down directing Final Stand? When he discovered that 20th Century Fox studio execs had put together a fake Storm script intended to fool Halle Berry, the actress who had played mainstay character Storm since the first film.
“Hollywood is really political and odd. One of the main reasons I quit ‘X-Men 3,’ and this is a true story,” Vaughn explained at NYCC 2023. “I went to an executive’s office and I saw an ‘X3’ script. It was a lot fatter. I asked, ‘What is this draft?’ They were like, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ So I grabbed it, and opened the first page, and it said, ‘Africa. Kids dying from no water, and Storm creates a thunderstorm to save all these children.’”
“That’s a pretty cool idea,” Vaughn said. “So I was like, what’s this? They said it was the Halle Berry script. ‘She hasn’t signed on yet, but this is what she wants it to be. So once she signs on, we’ll throw it in the bin.’ I said wow, you’re going to do that to an Oscar-winning actress? I’m out of here. So I quit at that point. I figured I was mincemeat.”
Vaughn did quit X-Men: The Last Stand and Fox signed Rush Hour director Brett Ratner to replace Bryan Singer, the director of the first two X-Men films.
Halle Berry did sign on to return as Storm in X-Men: The Last Stand as well, but as we know now, there were no scenes included in the film which involved Storm interacting with children in her homeland of Africa. Storm would gain a more notable role than she had in the previous films by taking over as leader of the X-Men after the death of Charles Xavier, but it still would have been a nice glimpse into Storm’s character and history to see those scenes with her interacting in Africa.
As mentioned before, Vaughn would end up directing 2011’s X-Men: First Class, which took the series in a different direction and explored the X-Men’s formative years, with the film taking place in 1962. First Class featured James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, and Michael Fassbender as Magneto.
What do you think of the fact that Matthew Vaughn quit ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ because of a fake Storm script intended to fool Halle Berry? Are you surprised that Hollywood movie execs would employ such an underhanded strategem or is that just the nature of show business? Let us know in the comments.