I’m sure there are some people who would be more than okay to see Bryan Singer disappear forever, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Olivia Munn talked to Variety to promote her new movie Violet, which was directed by Mallory Keaton herself, Justine Bateman. Violet is the first film Olivia has ever done that was directed by a woman, so Variety asked her to explain if the experience was any different from all the times she’s worked with a male director. Olivia could have picked any of her former male directors to compare against her experience with Justine. But she specifically singled out Bryan Singer as the worst of the worst by telling a story about Bryan going MIA during the filming of X-Men: Apocalypse.
Olivia starts by saying that Justine Bateman (who also wrote the movie Violet) has been one of Olivia’s favorite directors to work with, if not her favorite. Olivia explained that Justine is a cinephile who loves film, which made her a great director to work with. But the biggest edge Justine had over one of Olivia’s more recent directors is that Justine actually showed up for work.
Olivia played Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse, which started filming in Montreal, Canada in 2015, and was released in 2016. She says she’d never worked on a huge blockbuster like X-Men before, so she wasn’t sure if it was normal for the director to fuck off out of town for a “thyroid issue,” like Bryan Singer did in the middle of filming.
“You see these people who keep failing up, and they’re not that great and you think, ‘Really?’…I didn’t know what was right or wrong, but I did know that it seems strange that Bryan Singer could check out and say he had a thyroid issue. Instead of going to a doctor in Montreal, which is a very high-level, working city, he said he had to go to L.A. And he was gone for about 10 days is my recollection.”
If Olivia’s memory is accurate, then the credits of X-Men: Apocalypse should read, “Assistant Director: Bryan Singer’s data plan.” Because according to Olivia, Bryan Singer spent 10 days directing the movie through text messages.
And he said, ‘Continue. Keep filming.’ We’d be on set, I remember there’s a big scene that we’d have, and we’d come back from lunch and then one of Bryan’s assistants would come up and show us a cell phone with a text message on it. And he texted to the actors, ‘Hey guys. I’m busy right now. But just go ahead and start filming without me.’ And we’d be like, ‘OK.’ And I never thought any of it was normal, but I didn’t realize that other people also thought it wasn’t normal. And the other people who thought it wasn’t normal would be people at high levels, people who make decisions on whether to hire this person.”
Olivia went on to further illustrate Bryan’s skill at failing upward by pointing out that despite disappearing from the set, he was still handed the reins to Bohemian Rhapsody. But of course we all know what happened there (dramatic eyebrow raise).
Bryan has been accused of lots of really heinous shit over the years and has been sued several times for multiple accusations of sexual assault and forcing extras to get totally naked for a shower scene in Apt Pupil.
In 2017, about a week after the first #MeToo shoe dropped with Harvey Weinstein being exposed as a piece of shit, Jessica Chastain hopped on Twitter and loudly coughed, “BRYAN SINGER.” After everyone was fully reminded about the rumors and the lawsuits and the accusations, Bryan “stepped away” from Bohemian Rhapsody, and was later fired. That same year he was sued for allegedly raping a 17-year-old boy in 2003 (that lawsuit was reportedly settled for $150,000 in June of last year). In January 2019, The Atlantic published an exposé on Bryan that dug up all the rumors and lawsuits. Bryan Singer currently has no projects in the works, and no future directing gigs.
Now for me to piece some of this mess together. When Bryan left the set of Bohemian Rhapsody, he claimed it was due to illness. It was right in the middle of the #MeToo reckoning. Bryan went missing during X-Men: Apocalypse because of a thyroid issue. Production on X-Men: Apocalypse happened around the same time Bryan was facing back-to-back-to-back sexual assault allegations and lawsuits. Hmmm…
Although if you ask Bryan’s publicist, which Variety did, they will say that nothing suspicious happened when Bryan skipped out on the X-Men set.
“He saw doctors in Montreal and then came back to see doctors in Los Angeles. And to the best of our recollection, it only affected two days of shooting.”
One of the symptoms of a thyroid issue is weight loss. And I’m not going to imply that Bryan Singer’s thyroid issue had him losing a ton of weight in his bank account, due to all the alleged settlement checks he was cutting. But I’m sure Bryan Singer isn’t worried about Olivia’s accusations. To be honest, he’s probably happy about them. “What’s this? Someone is accusing me of something? Oh, it’s just an accusation that I’m an incompetent director. Phew!”