“X-Men: Apocalypse” Director Bryan Singer has recently made a surprising statement that when the first “X-Men” film was being developed back in the late 1990s, there was no concept.
“There was no concept. There was no template for it. Comic book movies had died, there was no concept of one as anything but camp,” the director of “The Usual Suspects” and “Superman Returns” told Collider, recently.
Singer revealed why the “X-Men” characters attracted him to make a film about them. “I took it on because I saw the thematics of it were interesting to me. I saw Xavier and Magneto as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X characters,” he said.
Singer also said that his own sexuality may have played a key role in his understanding of the mutants in the comics who are feared and despised by normal human beings. “I’m gay or bisexual, whatever, so that probably factored into it a bit because mutancy is discovered at that age in puberty when you’re different from your whole neighbourhood and your family and you feel very isolated. So that probably factored into my decision to do it to some degree at least, and I wanted to get involved in action-adventure and this was an avenue to do it.”
In fact, a study of his filmography reveals that Singer has always been attracted towards non-normative topics; characters who are at odds with the rest of society, as evident in “The Usual Suspects” and “Apt Pupil.”
In “Superman Returns,” Singer shows how the world’s greatest superhero has been shunned by the people because he spent a few years searching for his true origins, his true self.
In the case of the X-Men, Singer identified the most with Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) because he feels like an outsider and “doesn’t buy” the X-Men idea at first.
“For me I was very cynical about it, like ‘They call themselves Cyclops, Storm, Sabertooth,’ but with Wolverine, I said ‘I can be Logan and by the end of the movie I can embrace this universe,’ so I can tell this story. Through him I can make this movie and I can make it like a film that happens to be based on a comic book, that happens to have action sequences in it, but it’s still to me a film. It’s not just genre. It’s a film. Like ‘Usual Suspects’ or ‘Apt Pupil’ or the other films I had made at the time.”
“X-Men: Apocalypse,” which is being touted as the biggest in the franchise, is also reportedly the last ensemble “X-Men” movie from Singer. It deals with Oscar Isaac’s villain Apocalypse, the first mutant in the X-Men universe who is capable of bringing about cataclysmic destruction on a global scale.
Singer also assured that he is going to maintain the tonal quality of the first two X-Men movies he directed and will not be influenced by other popular superhero fares.
“X-Men: Apocalypse” opens worldwide beginning May 18 this year.