Bryan Singer, the once acclaimed director of such blockbuster films as X-Men and Superman Returns, is working on staging a come-back in Hollywood. The writer-helmer is self-financing a new documentary that will address the multiple claims of sexual assault that have been brought against him throughout his career, Variety is reporting.
Singer, who has fought back against the allegations, which started in the 1990s, last worked on the 2018 musical biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. He served as the original director and an executive producer on the drama. However, he was eventually fired shortly before the film’s completion, amid reports of sexual misconduct, erratic behavior and long absences.
In the documentary he’s looking to produce about his professional struggles and attempt to revitalize his career, Singer wants to addressing the allegations. He’s also looking to return to the low-budget scale of making movies that launched his career in the late 1990s, before he found success in the mainstream when he helmed 1995’s The Usual Suspects.
Besides the documentary about his career struggles, Singer is also reportedly seeking investors to back the production of three new narrative features. The movies, which would be made for $10 million each, will be set in and around Israel, with one taking place in the 1970s. The filmmaker is also working on a documentary centered on 1984 and 1988 Summer Games Gold Medalist and LGBT activist, Louganis.
The once-in-demand director’s previous movies have earned more than $3 billion at the box office over the course of his career. He specifically became known for helming and producing superhero blockbusters.
But in the midst of being fired from the Freddie Mercury biopic in 2017, for which Rami Malek won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of the Queen singer, Singer’s publicist cut ties with him. 20th Century Fox, which is the distributor that the filmmaker worked on for the X-Men movies, also decided to not renew its long-term deal with his production company, Bad Hat Harry.
It was then reported that a lawsuit had been filed against Singer by Cesar Sanchez-Guzman. The latter accused the director of sexually assaulting him in 2003, when Sanchez-Guzman was just 17. However, 20th Century Fox, which also released Bohemian Rhapsody, reportedly wasn’t aware that the lawsuit was filed against Singer when executives fired him.
The lawsuit filed by Sanchez-Guzman wasn’t the first one to be brought against the filmmaker. He had previously faced lawsuits in 1997 and 2014.
The first case was filed against the director by the parents of a 14-year-old who was an extra on the 1998 psychological thriller, Apt Pupil. They sued Singer for allegedly filming their son and other underage cast members in a naked shower scene without permission.
The lawsuit wasn’t settle in court, however. Some reports claimed it was dismissed due to insufficient evidence, while others claimed it was settled outside of court.
In the 2014 lawsuit, Singer faced allegations that he sexually assaulted actor and model Michael Egan as part of a ring of abusers. The alleged abuse took place when Egan was between the ages of 15 and 17.
Speaking to The Daily Beast, the actor said: “They destroyed the life of an adolescent, and it has affected me for the rest of my life.” He didn’t name the other abusers in the lawsuit, but claimed that they were “names you will recognize.”
Egan’s lawsuit was later withdrawn, however, later that year, but another lawsuit was filed on behalf of a British man who opted to remain anonymous. Singer was accused again of sexual assault, but the case was then dismissed at the man’s request.
Following the lawsuits, Singer attempted to revive his career with an $80 million remake of the 1985 action feature, Red Sonja for Millennium Films. But after an exposé was published in the Atlantic in 2019, the helmer left the project.
The Atlantic report outlined allegations from four men who claimed that Singer had assaulted them when they were underage. The filmmaker, who identities as bisexual, responded by calling the report a “homophobic smear piece” that had “been conveniently timed to take advantage of (Bohemian Rhapsody‘s) success.”
Despite the multiple lawsuits filed against the director, he has never faced criminal charges. He has also continuously denied the charges that have been brought against him. Millennium CEO Avi Lerner supported Singe, but eventually dropped him.