Matthew Vaughn — originally slated to direct 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand before Brett Ratner replaced him — says that Fox lured Halle Berry back to play Storm with a script that the studio had no intention of filming. Vaughn later directed X-Men: First Class in 2011.
Entertainment Weekly reports on Vaughn's comments at New York Comic Con on Saturday about the bait and switch involving a draft script that opened with Storm creating a thunderstorm to save children in drought-stricken Africa. “Hollywood is really political and odd,” said Vaughn. “I went into an executive's office and I saw a script that was a lot fatter. I was like, what [is] this draft? 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.”
Matthew Vaughn Went on to Direct One X-Men Movie and Cowrite the Story for Another Starring Halle Berry
Vaughn directed films such as Layer Cake, Stardust, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and The King's Man. Years after walking away from X-Men: The Last Stand, Vaughn returned to direct and co-write X-Men: First Class, a prequel to 2000's X-Men set in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. First Class stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, January Jones, Oliver Platt, and Kevin Bacon. Vaughn intended to direct the follow-up, 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past, but instead filmed Kingsman: The Secret Service and the god-awful Fantastic Four reboot. Although still credited as story cowriter and producer for X-Men: Days of Future Past, Vaughn missed an opportunity to direct Berry as Storm in the movie. Instead, original X-Men director Bryan Singer returned to direct Days of Future Past.
At New York Comic Con, Vaughn said that X-Men: The Last Stand was his first experience with the Hollywood system… and not a positive one. He said that one Fox executive gave him the classic “you'll never work in this town again” lecture and he “believed it.” Vaughn added that he would have directed X-Men: Days of Future Past too, “but Hollywood forgot to tell me, after I wrote the d–n thing, that Bryan got to direct it first.”
Matthew Vaughn's next movie — the spy action-comedy Argylle starring Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O'Hara, and Samuel L. Jackson — premieres on February 2, 2024. X-Men: The Last Stand director Ratner's career stalled after sexual misconduct allegations from several actresses surfaced in 2017. Ratner immigrated to Israel just in time for the Israel-Hamas war.