Halle Berry as Storm in X-Men: The Last Stand
(20th Century Fox)

Matthew Vaughn Reveals the Studio’s Treatment of Halle Berry in ‘X3’ Led Him To Quit The Film

Over the course of a film’s production, it’s far from unusual for directors and writers to drop out for any number of reasons. Whether it’s for a professional or personal issue, scheduling conflicts or creative differences, changes within the creative team don’t usually cause too much alarm when the project is still in its first stages. 

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That’s not to say rumors don’t spread when people leave productions as leaks are also pretty common on set. However, most of the time we as fans never get the full run-down on what happened behind the scenes until someone starts talking. 

That time has now come for the original 2000s X-Men film franchise as the director who was set to run the franchise’s final trilogy film has revealed why he stepped away from the project before it was complete.

X3 director reveals troubling reason why he walked away from set

​​Matthew Vaughn, the genius behind incredible action movies like Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service, had a lengthy Q&A session during his panel at New York City Comic Con, which he attended to promote his upcoming spy thriller Argylle.

Vaughn detailed his time working with the X-Men team as he was supposed to direct X-Men: The Last Stand, which is the third film in the 2000s live-action franchise.

“I went into one of the executives’ offices and I saw an X3 script, and I immediately knew it was a lot fatter,” Vaughn recounted, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I was like, ‘What the hell is this draft?’”

Vaughn continued:

He went, ‘Don’t worry about it,’ and I’m like, ‘No, no. I’m the director. I’m worrying about this draft. He wouldn’t tell me, so I grabbed it literally — it was like a crazy moment — opened the first page, and it said, ‘Africa. Storm. Kids dying of no water. She creates a thunderstorm and saves all these children.’”

Vaughn said he thought that was a “pretty cool idea,” but quickly retracted the thought when he realized what was going to happen to the script.

“[I went,] ‘What is this?’ [They said,] ‘Oh, it’s Halle Berry’s script. I went, ‘OK, because she hasn’t signed up yet.’ ‘But this is what she wants it to be, and once she signs up, we’ll throw it in the bin,’” Vaughn said, “I was like, ‘Wow, you’re going to do that to an Oscar-winning actress who plays Storm? I’m out of here.’ So I quit at that point.”

It seems a bit odd that a major movie studio had to essentially trick one of their lead actresses into being in their final film. If 20th Century Fox and Marvel weren’t confident in their script and felt like Berry’s part was lacking so much that she would turn down the opportunity, they should’ve taken that as a hint to make their script, you know, better.

Vaughn walking away from X3 should’ve been the wake-up call for the studio to not do something so heinous, especially toward one of the only significant Black cast members in the film. Berry did not deserve to be tricked into doing work. If the writing of her character sucked that badly, she should’ve had the freedom to peace out just like Vaughn did.

(featured image: 20th Century Fox)

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Kayla Harrington
Kayla Harrington (she/her) is a staff writer who has been working in digital media since 2017, starting at Mashable before moving to BuzzFeed and now here at The Mary Sue. She specializes in Marvel (Wanda Maximoff did nothing wrong!), pop culture, and politics. When she's not writing or lurking on TikTok, you can find Kayla reading the many unread books on her shelves or cuddling with one of her four pets. She's also a world class chef (according to her wife) and loves to try any recipe she can find.