Matthew Vaughn did direct an X-Men film with 2011’s X-Men: First Class, but his time with the franchise almost began a few years earlier. Sadly, it seems like a studio executive was pulling shady moves to lock in some castmates, which rubbed Vaughn the wrong way.
While promoting his new film Argylle during his Saturday evening panel at New York Comic Con, the filmmaker dove into his past experience with a Fox exec and how one of them pulled a stunt on X-Men: The Last Stand.
Vaughn explains to the NYCC crowd, “I went into one of the executives’ office, and I saw an X3 script, and I immediately knew it was a lot fatter. I was like, what the hell is this draft? 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. [Storm] creates a thunderstorm and saves all these children.'”
Vaughn revealed he had no issues with the story idea, but what shocked him was that it was only a ploy to get Halle Berry to return for the third film:
“[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,'” noted Vaughn. “I was like, ‘Wow, you’re gonna do that to an Oscar-winning actress who plays Storm? I’m outta here.’ So I quit at that point.”
The filmmaker would come back to the franchise, directing X-Men: First Class in 2011. Although originally signing on to return for X-Men: Days of Future Past, he’d quickly leave the X-Men business to begin his own franchise, Kingsman: The Secret Service.