The Bryan Singer-directed X2: X-Men United came to the big screens almost twenty years ago. Serving as the sequel to the first Foxverse film, X-Men (2000), X2 initiated an era that defined the rise of the mutant heroes and set them on a long and winding path to finding peace, redemption, and closure. However, it’s all easier said than done, and knowing a bit about the director’s history, the set of X2 was bound to have a few problems that warranted more trouble than it was worth.
As the second installment of the X-Men universe comes close to celebrating its 20th anniversary, a peek into the events that shaped the film’s filming and production history demands a recollection.
Also read: ‘I wanted to scream but couldn’t’: Hugh Jackman Was So Primal and Focused To Play Wolverine He Would Take Ice Cold Shower in Agonizingly Freezing Toronto Winters To “Get p*ssed off”, Get into Character
X2: X-Men United Cast Divided Over Bryan Singer’s Antics
The X-Men have reigned over the 20th Century Fox universe since the advent of the 21st century and occupied the popular culture ethos of the CBM industry for an even longer period. However, the hurdles that the X-Men have had to overcome in the 22 long years of their existence in what is now popularly known as the Foxverse almost parallels the antics the cast members portraying these superheroes have faced during their time under the direction of Bryan Singer.
Singer, although forever immortalized in his successful attempt at establishing the X-Men universe, is not the typical eccentric genius that resides at the heart of Hollywood. The controversial director has faced far too many allegations of sexual misconduct against minor boys to walk around without being subjected to the scrutinizing gaze of the public and the industry crew. Within a few years of the first allegation levied against him, his volatile behavior filtered out of the alleged closed-room incidents onto the sets of his 2003 film, X2: X-Men United.
The Hollywood Reporter cites a particularly eventful day when Bryan Singer was under the influence of an unnamed substance and went against his producer’s wishes to stop the shoot due to concerns about the safety of his cast and crew. As predicted, a stunt involving Hugh Jackman, cinema’s resident Wolverine, ended callously resulting in the actor being left injured. Although the director would later go on to be nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Director, Singer’s irresponsible antics on the sets of X2 brought him into a direct clash with his cast, the majority of whom threatened to quit while Halle Berry went a step further telling Singer — “kiss my black a**.”
Bryan Singer’s Colorful History in Hollywood: 1997-Present
While shooting the adaptation of Stephen King’s Apt Pupil, Bryan Singer was accused by a 14-year-old boy claiming that the director had allegedly asked him and several minors from the set who served as extras to film a scene in the n*de. Later, two teenage boys further came forward supporting the plaintiff’s accusations. The case was rumored to have been settled out of court and the DA’s office did not press any criminal charges against The Usual Suspects director.
Over the years, Bryan Singer faced accusations of sexual assault against underage boys in 2014, 2017, and 2019. Rumors circulated of his frequent involvement with Roland Emmerich and convicted s*x offender Marc Collins-Rector, meetings that went as far back as the late 1990s. Meanwhile, the charges against Singer were all dismissed, settled out of court, or withdrawn by the plaintiff. Investigative reports and documentaries were published and filmed that focused on the Hollywood culture of sexual abuse, with Singer cited in most of them.
Time’s Up released a statement in 2019 stating, “The recent allegations regarding Bryan Singer’s behavior are horrifying and MUST be taken seriously and investigated.” In light of mounting allegations, director Bryan Singer was left uncredited as the producer of the Foxverse film, Dark Phoenix (2019).
Source: The Hollywood Reporter