Another damning exposé about disgraced film director Bryan Singer has just been published and it’s a real doozy.
The Hollywood Reporter just dropped a lengthy article about the 20th anniversary of the X-Men movie franchise, which has spawned eight films and five spinoffs that have earned a whopping $6 billion worldwide.
The first film, along with three of its sequels, was directed by Singer.
Looking back, producer Ralph Winter says the young director, who was 34 at the time, would frequently invite friends who weren’t connected with the production to set.
“Bryan always had a lot of friends around,” he recalls. “And after a while, you don’t pay attention. He generally would introduce all of them. ‘Oh hey, come over here. I want you to meet Ralph.’ So he was always very kind and generous about that. But I didn’t have time to keep track of all his friends and who they were.”
The report goes on to allege Singer’s rotating entourage of friends, which usually consisted of young gay men, came with a slew of issues.
Reports the Hollywood Reporter:
Behind the scenes, crises raged, including drug use, tantrums and a writers’ feud. Adding to the drama, one of the film’s actors filed a civil suit four months after production wrapped, claiming that he was raped by three of Singer’s friends and business associates — although none of them were involved with X-Men.
Several sources add that, while X-Men was in pre-production, creative meetings led by Singer were often unprofessional and left many people in the room feeling uncomfortable, mistreated, and even traumatized.
“Bryan would bring people to story meetings who weren’t involved in the movies,” says one source who was present at the meetings. “Young guys. A different person every time.”
Once the film went into production, they began making other observations, like the unusually high number of twinky teenagers and young men cast in bit roles and as extras yet who were treated like royalty.
Notes the Hollywood Reporter:
But a number of young men, including some who were minors at the time, have claimed in published interviews that Singer dangled X-Men auditions and roles in exchange for sex. One on-set source disputed the idea the Robitel casting was anything but professional, noting that the two had been dating for three years at that point.
In hindsight, some project insiders say one piece of casting should have prompted a red flag, at least subsequently: that of Alex Burton, an 18-year-old who played the bit part of Pyro. No one remembers how Burton, who had no previous credits, was cast.
Burton, a novice, was then treated like an A-list star, flown back and forth from Los Angeles to Toronto in “an unheard-of move given the size of his role (studios typically cast locals for talent with one or no lines).”
Shortly after the film was released, the young actor filed a civil suit against three of Singer’s friends and business associates claiming that he had been supplied with drugs and sexually assaulted by them around the time of filming. He was later recast with actor Aaron Stanford in the X2 sequel.
Since then, Burton has changed his name and has never appeared in another film.
The report also includes allegations of Singer showing up to work “incapacitated” and getting into shouting matches with actors, as well as causing an on-set injury to at least one person after botching a stunt scene, a claim Singer denies.
Looking back, studio execs say they should have done more to control Singer in the early days of his directing career. Maybe then things wouldn’t have turned out as they have.
“His behavior was poor on the movie,” an unnamed exec claims. “We accommodated him on the first movie, and therefore we can accommodate him on the second movie. And on and on. And it created a monster.”
Adds exec Shuler Donner, “His way of acting out would be to yell and scream at everybody on the set. Or walk off the set or shut down production. You have to understand, the guy was brilliant, and that was why we all tolerated him and cajoled him. And if he wasn’t so f*cked up, he would be a really great director.”