The Hollywood Reporter has published a detailed look a the making of the first X-Men movie twenty years ago. Along with Blade it is fair to say it pretty much started a new generation of Superhero movies after the genre had been killed off by movies like Superman IV and Batman and Robin. The movie also pushed Bryan Singer into the big leagues. It was followed up by the highly regarded sequel X2.
It turns out it was far from a happy ship. Furthermore some of the kind of behavior rumored to have led to Bryan Singer having to leave Bohemian Rhapsody was already evident way back then. There was a cast mutiny over a stunt gone wrong, a script that kept changing and a director who was “incapacitated” on several occasions.
Producer Tom DeSanto called for a stunt scene on X2 to be shut down as he felt it was dangerous and Bryan Singer was not in a fit state to be able to manage the stunt as director. Singer had continued shooting and moved up an action scene without a stunt coordinator present, which went wrong and led to Hugh Jackman bleeding, live, on camera.
According to the report the studio backed Singer and ordered DeSanto back to Los Angeles. The cast and crew swarmed Singers trailer and Halle Berry famously told him to:
“Kiss my black ass!”
Everyone threatened to quit en masse if DeSanto did not stay on. The script was no calmer. Ed Solomon, Christopher McQuarrie and Joss Whedon all tried to polish but Whedon’s work was rejected. David Hayter wrote new scenes but as he was an actor there were Guild issues. McQuarrie and Solomon were said to have lost around $1 million from not getting a credit.
The article makes no reference to the story in the UK Popbitch e-column which alleged that Singer would build himself a “monitor fort” on-set and direct a movie via intercom from inside, where he was frequently joined my several young Filipino men he brought to the set as visitors, and on numerous occasions the sounds of giggling and other noises were heard from within.
The report does however see Execs admit that by allowing his behavior to continue and still working with him they are to blame:
“…his behavior was poor on the movie. 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.”
If only somebody had intervened before he started throwing pool parties than a whole lot of trouble might have been stopped. It is fairly safe to assume that Singer will not be returning to the X-Men when they appear in the MCU.