Matthew Vaughn Quit ‘X-Men 3’ Over Plan To Trick Halle Berry To Sign On

Matthew Vaughn earned praise for rebooting the X-Men movie franchise with 2011’s X-Men: First Class, but it wasn’t supposed to be his only big stint. The filmmaker was originally tapped to direct X-Men 3 (or X-Men: The Last Stand), but departed from the project with the reins handed over to Bryan Singer.

Matthew Vaughn X-Men 3 Halle Berry

17 years after the film’s release, he revealed the reason for doing so at New York Comic Con 2023, and it involved a studio executive’s scheme to deceive Halle Berry into reprising her role as Storm.

“One of the main reasons I quit X-Men 3, and this is a true story. Hollywood is really political and odd,” he said to ScreenRant. “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.’”

He continued, “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.’ I thought it was a pretty cool idea. I said, ‘What is this?’ They said, ‘This is the Halle Berry script because she hasn’t signed on yet. This is what she wants it to be. And once she signs on, we’ll throw it in the bin.’ I thought, if you’re going to do that to an Oscar-winning actress who plays Storm, I quit. I thought I’m mincemeat.”

And quit Vaughn did. Singer would later drop out to direct Superman Returns, and X-Men: The Last Stand ended up being helmed by Rush Hour filmmaker Brett Ratner. Berry eventually signed on for the film, and while the scene described in the fake script didn’t make the final cut, it did give Storm a more prominent role as the head of Charles Xavier’s school for mutants after his demise.

In 2011, Vaughn returned to direct X-Men: First Class. Starring James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, and Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, the movie was well-received among both critics and fans alike. It also ushered in a revival of the franchise, following a dismal showing with The Last Stand.