Dark Phoenix marks the culmination of the 20-year-old X-Men franchise and honestly, it’s probably the right time. One of the reasons why is that one of its biggest architects over the years, Bryan Singer, has been the subject of some serious sexual misconduct allegations that have caused his reputation to plummet.
Singer directed 2000’s X-Men and 2003’s X2 before returning to the franchise 12 years later for 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past and 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. According to a new report, however, the filmmaker went AWOL during production on the latter two movies.
Deadline says that Singer is known to have failed to turn up for work on his last two X-Men features numerous times, with several other crew members having to fill the void. Specifically, producer Hutch Parker, editor/composer John Ottman, DP Newton Thomas Sigel and writer/producer Simon Kinberg.
Following Deadline’s story, IndieWire reached out to Singer’s representatives for comment. Naturally, they denied the claims, with the outlet writing: “A spokesperson for Mr. Singer can affirm that he never went ‘AWOL’ from the sets of ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ and ‘X-Men: Apocalypse.”
It’s worth pointing out that this isn’t the only time we’ve heard that Singer’s proven to be unreliable. Reports from last year said that the director was ultimately removed from Bohemian Rhapsody at the behest of star Rami Malek because of his disappearing acts.
As for the X-Men, it’s no surprise that Singer wasn’t invited back for Dark Phoenix. Having allegedly picked up the slack on Apocalypse, Simon Kinberg got to direct his own script this time around. Unfortunately though, his directorial debut hasn’t been the hit the studio were hoping for.
No doubt in the years to come, while we await Marvel’s reboot of the X-Men, more about the troubled production of the Fox movies will come to light. But for now, this is certainly intriguing to hear and if you wish to see the mutants one last time in the universe Singer created, you can catch Dark Phoenix in theaters now.