With the rebooted X-Men movie timeline following X-Men: Days of Future Past came the opportunity to not only change the history of the X-Men, but to change the characters themselves. The next film in the series, X-Men: Apocalypse, will be doing just that with a few of the X-Men seen in previous movies: Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Storm.
The versions of those characters audiences will be seeing in X-Men: Apocalypse are not only younger than the previous versions (a move necessitated by the movie taking place in the 1980s) but will have radically different backstories as well. Perhaps the biggest change is to Storm, who will not only be sporting a different hairdo, but will also be starting off not as a member of the X-Men but as one of Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen. The big question is how she got there.
Speaking to Collider, actress Alexandra Shipp offered some clues about her character’s origins and how she differs from Halle Berry’s take on the character. According to Shipp, the big difference for her version of Storm starts with her troubled childhood:
“It’s not like she’s in the mansion having a great time. She’s so different from all of the other kids because they come from families. They come from some sort of love and support whereas Storm hasn’t had that since her parents died in that plane crash into the house when she was like 5. It’s like, she’s kind of just all really messed up and the only mutants that she knows are bad mutants. The only mutants that she knows are the mutants who use their powers for stealing, or protecting thugs or whatever. It’s not like, ‘Oh, we’re going to save the planet’. It’s like, ‘Forget the planet, I need money so I’m going to distract you with some wind and then I’m going to pick pocket you.'”
It’s that upbringing that makes Storm vulnerable to Apocalypse’s influence, as he offers her a way to do more with her powers than just pick pockets:
“She’s mega level and yet she’s been reduced to a street urchin… Apocalypse can see this and he can see this with all the other horsemen, is that these gods, essentially, have been reduced down to nothing and have been forced down to have their families killed, to have their lives destroyed. All because of what? What they’re born with? That’s a huge reason why the horsemen go with him.”
Of course, the change to her past isn’t the only departure for X-Men: Apocalypse‘s Storm. In addition to her new look, this Storm is also closer to her African roots. Shipp says that she will be “doing a Kenyan accent” and speaking in Arabic, neither of which are things Halle Berry’s Storm did. In the end, though, she wouldn’t be the Storm that X-Men fans have come to know over the years if she were a complete villain, and Shipp confirms that she is not irredeemable, just misguided:
“She doesn’t know anything about the X-Men. The only thing she knows is about Mystique when she saved the president, but that’s basically it. Other than Mystique, every other Mutant that she’s known has been bad so, that’s kind of where she’s coming from. I don’t necessarily see her as a bad person, or as a bad mutant. I don’t see her as a villain. She doesn’t know that she’s a villain. That’s just all she’s ever known, is just bad.”
Will she see the error of her ways by the end of the film and take her place as one of the good guys? It seems likely, but Storm has already been killed off once before in the X-Men movie universe so there is no reason it can’t happen again. Audiences will get a chance to find out her fate for themselves when X-Men: Apocalypise hits theaters this spring.
X-Men: Apocalypse opens on May 27, 2016; Gambit sometime in 2017; Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017; and an unannounced X-Men film on July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.