Following the blockbuster success of X-Men: Days of Future Past, its 2016 sequel X-Men: Apocalypse was easily one of the most hotly awaited films of the year. However, for a myriad of reasons, it ultimately fell short of reaching the same heights as its predecessor, or the previous X-films directed by Bryan Singer.
The controversial Singer, who has faced a number of sexual assault allegations for the better part of the last decade, has only directed one film since, the Academy Award-nominated Bohemian Rhapsody, but was infamously fired from the project prior to its completion due to his increasingly erratic behavior. At the time, he claimed it was due to a personal health matter, but it was later reported that the cast and crew, including Academy Award-winner Rami Malek, had grown tired of his unprofessional behavior on set, with him reportedly arriving late and clashing with the star.
While it was believed that his disappearing act may have been an isolated incident, it was later reported that Singer had been exhibiting a pattern of similar behavior for longer than should have been tolerated, which likely resulted in some of the problems X-Men: Apocalypse ran into.
In a lengthy profile with Variety for her new film Violet, actress Olivia Munn spoke about her experience on X-Men: Apocalypse and confirmed that Singer had walked off the set midway through filming in Montreal to fly back to Los Angeles for about ten days to deal with what he claimed was a "thyroid issue," leaving the production to fend for itself.
OLIVIA MUNN: "It’s possible [to work with women directors]. It’s the problem that I always had in this business, way before the #MeToo movement exposed so much. You’re in it and you see these people who keep failing up, and they’re not that great and you think, “Really?” When we shot “X-Men,” I never shot a huge movie like that before. I didn’t know what was right or wrong, but I did know that it seems strange that Bryan Singer could check out and say he had a thyroid issue.
Instead of going to a doctor in Montreal, which is a very high-level, working city, he said he had to go to L.A. And he was gone for about 10 days is my recollection. And he said, “Continue. Keep filming.” We’d be on set, I remember there’s a big scene that we’d have, and we’d come back from lunch and then one of Bryan’s assistants would come up and show us a cell phone with a text message on it.
And he texted to the actors, “Hey guys. I’m busy right now. But just go ahead and start filming without me.” And we’d be like, “OK.” And I never thought any of it was normal, but I didn’t realize that other people also thought it wasn’t normal. And the other people who thought it wasn’t normal would be people at high levels, people who make decisions on whether to hire this person.
Come to find out it is really strange and it wasn’t OK. But this person is allowed to continue to go on. Fox still gives him “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and then we all know what happened.
I’m saying even before the #MeToo stuff was exposed — stuff that’s really horrendous and just nauseating to be around — there’s also just the bad behavior of people getting away with it. And no one in the world is so talented that it merits disrespecting other people and their time. And there are so many talented people waiting for an opportunity."
To explain the extended absence, Singer's publicist said, “He saw doctors in Montreal and then came back to see doctors in Los Angeles. And to the best of our recollection, it only affected two days of shooting.”
Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel's X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.
X-Men: Apocalypse features:
Director: Bryan Singer
James McAvoy as Charles Xavier/Professor X
Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto
Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkhölme/Mystique
Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy/Beast
Oscar Isaac as En Sabah Nur/Apocalypse
Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert
Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers/Cyclops
Sophie Turner as Jean Grey
Alexandra Shipp as Ororo Munroe/Storm
Kodi Smit-McPhee as Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler
Evan Peters as Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver
Lucas Till as Alex Summers/Havok
Ben Hardy as Warren Worthington III/Angel
Lana Condor as Jubilation Lee/Jubilee
Olivia Munn as Betsy Braddock/Psylocke
Tómas Lemarquis as Caliban
Josh Helman as William Stryker
Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine
X-Men: Apocalypse is now available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray & DVD!