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The first X-Men film saw (or heard) Storm speak in a more African-type accent. This was later dropped from X2 onwards. Why? Did the producers think the audience didn't understand her clearly the first time or she didn't suit the accent...?

I've read some forums discussing this but I am looking for an official, out-of-universe answer (i.e. from a producer, Halle Berry or Bryan Singer etc.) if it exists.

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I have no "official, out-of-universe answer" to offer. Here's my speculation though. Her performance in X1 wasn't all that well received. I recall reading opinions that she didn't seem very relate-able. Many people observed that her accent was awkward & bit indistinct (in terms of where she was supposed to be from). Ditching the accent may've been to help Berry's performance seem more natural & her character more relate-able, particularly to American audiences.

She also became a far bigger star in between X1 & X2. She won the Oscar for best actress in early 2002. Probably due to this you can clearly see that they focused on her more in X2 both in the movie itself & in promoting the movie including posters etc. Having her speak in her natural accent may have been to "cash in" on the Halle Berry "brand" & her spike in fame at that time. Speaking in a quasi-African accent that didn't quite work in X1 in new a movie where she would be focused on even more probably didn't seem like a smart move by the filmmakers.

You may note that her accent loosened up even more in X3. She speaks far more casually & almost "street" with some of her pronunciation & expressions. Her character's changing accent is certainly a curiosity throughout that trilogy of films.

  • Those are very good points, thanks for these. Wonder if there is indeed an official reason for this. +1 :) – user35594 Jul 27 '15 at 12:32
  • Because it's such a strange thing to do from an in-universe POV I suspect they wouldn't have drawn attention to it by explaining it. Maybe something like the dvd commentaries would be the best chance of finding an explanation. However since the real explanation is probably "the accent sucked so we ditched it" I doubt you'll find it. – Palp Fiction Jul 28 '15 at 2:25
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About the best explanation I've found is that Berry couldn't do a decent accent (it does sound more Carribean than African, from what I recall), and probably gave up after negative reactions to its use in the first movie - but this is fan speculation rather than anything official.

  • Thanks mate, yes I'm aware about a number of fans not liking it very much but you have my +1 :) – user35594 Jul 27 '15 at 12:31
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The answer to your question lies within the Bryan Singer commentary found on the X2: X-Men United 2-disc DVD set; Bryan clearly explains that while he found Storm's accent in the first movie an interesting decision, he felt it best to let Berry speak in a more natural voice and then weigh the results against each other. Brett Ratner kept this idea for X-Men: The Last Stand, probably to avoid confusing people at a constant back-and-forth accent change for a character. However, I will admit that the bit about Brett Ratner is more speculation than anything; I have heard of no interviews from him or Berry regarding the issue.

  • Well picked up, thank you! – user35594 Sep 20 '15 at 8:53

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