Bryan Jay Singer (born September 17, 1965 in New York City) is an American filmmaker whose body of work has been split between low-budget psychological thrillers and high-budget superhero movies.
He is an avid fan of movies, and is especially fond of science fiction and Star Trek in particular, and with every film has tried to aim for a different genre; alienation is a recurring theme across many of his films. He has admitted on many occasions that he looks to his favourite films of the past, especially those by Stanley Kubrick, for inspiration and then adds his own style to it. He is the head of Bad Hat Harry productions, named from a line in his favorite movie Jaws.
His first major break was directing The Usual Suspects, which made him a very popular independent filmmaker. After his second film, Apt Pupil, he was offered the job that would make him go mainstream, directing X-Men. The film's success started a new trend of hiring low-key filmmakers to helm big budget blockbusters. His attention to the characters and goals of making their world plausible became the source of the second age of superhero movies, which is still ongoing.
After the second X-Men film, X2: X-Men United, Singer jumped at the chance to direct the next Superman film, which resulted in the third X-Men film being made without him. While it made money, Superman Returns did not have the box office ratio the studio was hoping for and Superman has since been rebooted. He returned to the X-Men universe with X-Men: Days of Future Past and its follow-up, X-Men: Apocalypse.
In December of 2017, he was fired during production of Bohemian Rhapsody over erratic and confrontational behavior, preceding long-standing allegations of rape and child sex abuse being brought back to the forefront, which were reported in detail in an investigative article in 2019. That article was the inspiration for the (fictional) novel, Yes, Daddy. Singer would subsequently withdraw from the public eye, his reputation and career having been more or less set ablaze.
- The Usual Suspects (1995)
- Apt Pupil (1998)
- X-Men Film Series:
- X-Men (2000)
- X2: X-Men United (2003)
- X-Men: First Class (2011) note
- X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
- X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
- Superman Returns (2006)
- Valkyrie (2008)
- Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)
- Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) note
- House (Bad Hat Harry is the production company and he directed a few episodes, including a cameo in one of them.)
- Star Trek: Nemesis (A lifelong Star Trek fan, his new friendship with Patrick Stewart, which was formed while working together on the X-Men Film Series, granted him a cameo as a bridge officer.)
- H+ (Produced the web series.)
- Trick 'r Treat (Bad Hat Harry produced the movie. It also helps that director Michael Dougherty co-wrote X2 and Superman Returns.)
- The Cameo: He briefly appeared as a security officer in Star Trek: Nemesis because he's a big Trekkie.
- Creator Cameo: In X-Men: Days of Future Past, immediately after Past Magneto uses his power to throw several Parisian police officers backwards, Singer can be seen as a bystander filming him.
- Appears as a security Guard in X2 (he's the one who wheels Charles into the scanning area when he visits Magneto in his plastic prison). His mugshot can also be seen very briefly for a split second when Mystique goes through the guard's files on Yuriko's computer.
- Plays one of Stryker's soldiers during Wolverine's massacre in X-Men Apocalypse.
- Hostility on the Set: He was fired for confrontational and erratic behavior during the development of Bohemian Rhapsody, although he had a habit of unprofessional actions throughout his career such as not showing up on time or arriving intoxicated and uncooperative. The straw that broke the camelís back on Bohemian Rhapsody was not showing up to work the Monday after production took the week off for Thanksgiving. Thanks to the trope below, it got even worse.
- Role-Ending Misdemeanor: As a result of his behavior on the set of Bohemian Rhapsody and long standing allegations of rape and child sex abuse in the wake of the #MeToo movement and the Harvey Weinstein case, Bryan Singer was fired and disappeared from the public eye. He was supposed to direct a Red Sonja movie and was later removed from it in 2019.