X-Men cast allegedly threatened to quit en masse due to Bryan Singer's on-set behavior
A new Hollywood Reporter story details the years of behind-the-scenes turmoil surrounding Singer, the director of several films in the X-Men franchise. His "tempestuous nature" and drug use, THR's sources say, led to "erratic and destructive" behavior and impulsive decisions that complicated shoots. As an anonymous executive notes, "We accommodated him on the first [X-Men] movie, and therefore we can accommodate him on the second movie. And on and on. And it created a monster."
This behavior came to a head during the production of 2003's X2: X-Men United, with an incident where sources say Singer allegedly defied producer Tom DeSanto to continue shooting while under the influence of a narcotic. This led to a botched stunt that left star Hugh Jackman "bleeding on camera," after which production was shut down. 20th Century Fox executives, however, sided with Singer and told DeSanto to leave the set, leading the main castmembers to confront Singer (in full costume) and threaten to quit if DeSanto left.
It was at this point, according to THR, that star Halle Berry "famously said to Singer, 'You can kiss my Black ass,' a line that has been oft-reported in the years since but never with the correct backstory." A representative for Singer told THR that "nothing like that ever happened." Representatives for the director did not immediately respond to EW's request for further comment.
The THR story also notes that Singer would reportedly frequently fill small roles on the films with "handsome young men," several of whom have claimed that the filmmaker "dangled X-Men auditions and roles in exchange for sex," and that many of Singer's associates who were later accused of sexual misconduct would frequent his sets. Singer himself has repeatedly been accused of sexually abusing underage boys, allegations which he has denied.