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Halle Berry was once synonymous with the mutant superhero Storm after her stint in Fox’s X-Men franchise. However, there was some criticism regarding Berry’s portrayal of the character. The actor once uttered a line in the film X-Men that became heavily mocked at the time. But The Avengers director Joss Whedon once set the record straight on the line’s true origins.

Joss Whedon once shared that he wrote Halle Berry’s infamous ‘X-Men’ Line

Halle Berry posing at Virgin Cinemas in Tokyo, Japan.
Halle Berry | Access E/WireImage

One of Berry’s lines as the X-Men character Storm might’ve become famous for the wrong reasons. In 2000’s X-Men film, Berry’s Storm famously electrocutes another mutant by the name of Toad. Before unleashing her powers on the villain, Berry’s Storm sends him off with a quip.

“You know what happens to a Toad when it’s struck by lightning? Same thing that happens to everything else,” she said in the feature.

Although the line has its fair share of fans, there are also some who found it a bit too cheesy even for a comic book picture. In a 2001 interview with AV Club, controversial filmmaker Joss Whedon revealed that he was the mastermind behind the script. Whedon wrote Fox studios an X-Men script that the studio would discard in favor of another screenplay. But without Whedon’s knowledge.

Still, the studio turned to Whedon for help in punching up the new script a bit more.

“And then, in X-Men, not only did they throw out my script and never tell me about it; they actually invited me to the read-through, having thrown out my entire draft without telling me. I was like, ‘Oh, that’s right! This is the movies! The writer is s*** in the movies,’” Whedon said.

The studio left a couple of lines from Whedon’s original draft untouched. One of them was Berry’s infamous Toad line. However, the Avengers filmmaker asserted that it wasn’t said the way it was supposed to be.

“Everybody remembers that as the worst line ever written, but the thing about that is, it was supposed to be delivered as completely offhand. [Adopts casual, bored tone.] ‘You know what happens when a toad gets hit by lightning?’ Then, after he gets electrocuted, ‘Ahhh, pretty much the same thing that happens to anything else.’ But Halle Berry said it like she was Desdemona. ‘The same thing that happens to everything eeelse!’ That’s the thing that makes you go crazy,” he said.

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Berry wasn’t too keen on doing the third X-Men movie The Last Stand unless significant changes were made. She once even said, according to Black Film, that she warned the studio she’d walk out if Storm wasn’t given a meatier role.

“That’s what I threatened,” she said. “But I really wasn’t going to do that, but I thought that I somehow have to scare the s*** out of them and get them to give Storm a point of view, so I really didn’t say that to the studio; I just sort of threw that around thinking that it will get some attention. This is all I ever wanted. Not really more screen time because I know it’s an ensemble, but if Storm spoke for 5 minutes, then I wanted it to be 5 minutes that meant something.”

According to Last Stand’s original director Matthew Vaughn, the studio might’ve given the impression Berry’s Storm would’ve had much more to do. Vaughn asserted that Berry was given a decoy script to convince her to commit to Last Stand.

“I went into an executive’s office and I saw a script that was a lot fatter,” Vaughn told Entertainment Weekly not too long ago. “I was like, what the hell’s this draft? They said, ‘Don’t worry about it.'”

The script in question had an entire sequence focused on Storm that was nowhere to be found in X-Men: The Last Stand. Vaughn discovered this was done by design.

“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.”