Why we need a Storm Origin movie
With the Dark Phoenix movie due to come out next year, it got me to thinking why on earth do we need another Jean Grey movie? Don't get me wrong, as an X-Men loyalist I truly enjoy the character in the comics and was even cool with the cinematic portrayal of this character. My issue is, why do the decision makers at Fox keep focusing on this story? X-men comics have been around since the 60s with an abundant amount of members, why not give someone else the limelight?
My solution to this dilemma, the Storm Origin movie! Ororo Munroe, also known as Storm, has a rich backstory, plenty of close relationships with other mutants and is arguably an Omega level mutant herself. Storm's character was introduced in the mid-70s in the Giant Sized X-Men #1. Within a handful of issues, Storm takes the helm as leader of the X-Men. Contrasted from her predecessor (Cyclops), Storm leads with compassion and nuance. Due to this leadership style, she grows strong friendships with most X-Men, especially Kitty Pryde, Wolverine and Gambit. She's a scrappy fighter, powerful with words and always has a bobby pin to pick those pesky locks that always seem to slow the X-Men down. If this isn't convincing enough, I have plotted out scenes for what a Storm Origin could look like. With the following key elements, a bunch of CGI and the correct hype, you would have all the ingredient for another superhero blockbuster!
Montage of a young girl growing up with a happy family. Cut to a tragic house fire that kills both of Ororo's parents and renders her helpless under rubble. The tragic occurrence hardens our character and gives her sever claustrophobia, which is a key weakness for Storm in the comics. For the sake of simplicity, Ororo is born and raised in Cairo. This will help make a condensed movie that won't have to explain all the traveling of Storm, from New York to Cairo, to then be captured by the Shadow King.
Open with the market streets of Cairo. Through general assumption, context clues and some explanation we learn that without a family a teenage Ororo is swallowed up into a life of stealing for her master and keeper, Amahl Farouk, aka the Shadow King. (For those unaware, the Shadow King is a nemesis to both the X-Men and Storm. He is a telepath with abilities that rival the great founder of the X-Men, Charles Xavier).
During her time captive, she starts to develop her latent mutant ability to control the elements. In the comics, Professor Xavier frees her from the control of the Shadow King. However, for cinematic purposes and to avoid an unexplained visit from Professor X, Ororo stages a coup to overthrow the Shadow King. This encounter does not defeat him, merely injures him and fills him with vengeance. The coup would also help develop Ororo's character into a bonafide leader.
Once out of the gasp of the Shadow King, Storm finds the first mode of transportation that is as far away from Cairo as possible. Thus Storm escapes on a ship leaving to America, leaving loved ones behind but a future to look forward too. Soon she arrives in New Orleans. Without money or connections, Ororo ends up resorting back to the skills of a thief in order to get by. Being the moral person that she is, she decides to only steal from the ultra-rich who make their money from exploiting others. While she is at a large vacant house, rummaging around for food and essentially she runs into, none other than the sly talking Cajun, Gambit (giving a nod to the Uncanny X-Men #266 comic, in which Gambit first appears). Startled by one another a duel between the two commences. Neither are traditionally the killing type, thus the battle ends in a draw after each reveals they have mutant powers. Gambit would probably use his alias when introducing himself. Ororo, being reluctant to trust Gambit, tells him that it is none of his business to know her name. Gambit being persistent decides that based on her mutant ability, he will call he Stormy (a term of endearment that Gambit uses for Ororo in the comics). From then on in the movie, Ororo decides to use the name Storm to introduce herself to new people. After a brief chat, they decide they have more commonalities than they do differences and so begins the team up!
Eventually the Shadow King comes back. Which makes perfect sense, the Shadow King can transfer his consciousness into other bodies (to be clear, the Shadow King is less of a man named Amahl Farouk and more of an ancient evil entity). Gaining information and moving person to person he catches up quickly to the unsuspecting but ever leery Storm. In this first re-encounter, Storm is devastated but is saved by Gambit. Being a native to the city of New Orleans, the voodoo capital of America, it's easy to connect that Gambit has a remedy for evil spirits. Helpful as the remedy may be, it's only a temporary cure.
The climax of the movie is where it gets tricky. Being that Shadow King is an extremely powerful telepath, you would probably need a more powerful (or more tactical) telepath to defeat him in the final showdown. Perhaps this is when Professor Xavier makes an appearance? He would be able to detect that Storm and Gambit were in trouble, even if he didn't know them, from scanning Cerebro (Professor Xavier's mutant tracking system). It may seem strange the random drop in, but it would be plausible. If not Xavier, perhaps another powerful telepath, like Psylocke (definitely not Jean Grey). This battle would draw from the many battles that Psylocke and the Shadow King have had in the comics. Xavier or Psylocke would be a great way to connect the characters and bring an end to the reign of the Shadow King, but maybe these examples would steer too much of the focus off our main protagonist, Storm. A third alternative uses the landscape of New Orleans as the focal point, with a somewhat lesser known hero, Brother Voodoo. As the name implies, Brother Voodoo has tremendous knowledge in mystic practices. In this scenario, Brother Voodoo can aid with mystical powers, while still letting our lead character deliver the final blow. If the team is able to remove the Shadow King from the body it possesses, then Brother Voodoo would also have a solution for a long term containment of this evil entity.
This is the action packed X-Men origin movie we need! The story can go several different ways but could undoubtedly be a hit. Now that the merger between Fox and Disney is complete, you could start to crossover between X-Men and other Marvel characters. Perhaps the reason she is able to stage the coup against the Shadow King in the beginning stems from a gift she received from a friend, a young prince of Wakanda, T'Challa. Being that Wakanda is so highly advanced, surely T'Challa could spare some of his technology to help a noble cause. Their meeting would be nod to the comics in which Storm and T'Challa first met as their younger selves. This also plants the seed for Storm to appear and know T'Challa in a later Black Panther movie. If you are not up to speed, T'Challa and Storm get married in the comics, so the two meeting in the MCU just seems to be inevitable.
In 2014, Channing Tatum signed on with 20th Century Fox to make a Gambit movie, which has continually been pushed back (the current release projection is March of 2020). Incorporating Gambit into a Storm movie is the remedy for getting this character off the ground and into the big scene. Gambit is forever the charming ladies' man and Storm is not the type to give in to those gestures. Instead the two have a platonic relationship that is still somewhat flirtatious on Gambit's end.
I would say this could easily be a PG-13 movie, which I suspect is the direction that Disney and the directors would want to take it. PG-13 would be attainable because Storm is very anti-killing in the comics and the villain, evil as he may be, doesn't need to go around killing people to get his way. Sure you could really make some twisted illusion created by the Shadow King that would warrant a R rating, but PG-13 would likely sell more at the box office for this type of movie. It would also be a hit because it has the timeless Disney recipe that we see in Lion King, Bambi and many others, in which parents die while the main protagonist is still at a young age.
This is my pitch for why the Storm Origin movie is a must have. The team at Hero Or Villain and myself are interested in what you think. Do you think they should make a Storm movie? Do you have a different take on how it may play out? Send us your thoughts and share this idea with friends. We are excited to hear your take on all of this!