"Superman has always been about Lois Lane, Superman and Clark Kent, and this love triangle between these three people who really are only two people." Bryan Singer.
Director Bryan Singer first received international attention in 1995 when he helmed the Oscar-winning indie crime thriller The Usual Suspects (starring Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Pollak and Kevin Spacey). He later gained more recognition for directing such sci-fi and comic book genre films as X-Men (2000), X2: X-Men United (2003) and the newly-released Superman Returns (2006).
The 5' 11" tall, openly gay filmmaker, who frequently uses music by John Ottman and works with cinematographer Tom Siegel, was listed on Premiere's 2006 "Power 50" list. A self-taught director in his own words, Singer will continue to make movies. His upcoming film projects include You Want Me to Kill Him, The Mayor of Castro Street, and a yet untitled Superman Returns sequel.
Superman in Me
Childhood and Family:
"I identify with Superman. I am adopted, I am an only child, and I love the idea that he comes from another world, that he's the ultimate immigrant. He has all these extraordinary powers and he has a righteousness about him." Bryan Singer
Born on September 17, 1965, in New York City, Bryan Singer was later adopted by Norbert Singer and Grace Singer. He was raised in a Jewish household in Princeton Junction, New Jersey. He attended West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South (formerly just West Windsor-Plainsboro High School), before studying filmmaking at New York's School of Visual Arts and later USC (University of Southern California) School of Cinema-Television in Los Angeles, where he first met future frequent-partner, composer/editor/director John Ottman. Bryan is the cousin of actors Lori and Marc Singer.
Behind The Camera
An aspiring filmmaker whose favorite movies are Jaws (1975) and Star Trek, Bryan Singer began shooting 8mm films when he was a teenager. He crafted his talent at USC and after graduating, penned and helmed the 25-minute film Lionís Den (1988), alongside John Ottman. For the cast members, Singer asked his childhood friend Ethan Hawke to join Brandon Boyce and Dylan Kussman to star in the $15,000 project.
Singer followed it up with the 1993 film Public Access, his first full-length film project that he co-wrote with Christopher McQuarrie, produced and directed. The thriller drama centers on a mysterious man (played by Ron Marquette) who turns an idyllic small-town against itself through his cable TV show. It received positive reviews and won Singer the Grand Jury Prize at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival, as well as the Critics Award at the Deauville Film Festival.
Not long after his work was seen at Sundance, Singer gained international recognition in 1995 when his second full-length feature, The Usual Suspects, was released to critical and commercial acclaim. The crime thriller, which stars Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Pollak and Kevin Spacey, follows five crooks recruited by a mysterious underworld personality to stop a drug deal. Then, 28-year-old Singer beat all odds by bringing the $6 million, 35-day shoot in on time and under budget. The film was highly praised at the Oscars, winning two Academy Awards that year, one for Kevin Spacey for Best Supporting Actor and another for Christopher McQuarrie for Best Original Screenplay.
Following his initial success, Singer helmed Apt Pupil (1998), a powerful and moving drama based on a short story by Stephen King from a book of short stories called "Different Seasons." In the film, which explore the nature of evil, Singer cast actor Brad Renfro to star opposite Ian McKellen. Apt Pupil received good reviews, winning Best Horror Film and nominating Singer as Best Director at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.
The new millennium saw Singer directing the big screen version of the wildly popular Marvel Comic book adventure series, X-Men (2000). The mutant movie, which also stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James Marsden, Halle Berry and Anna Paquin, was a commercial and creative success. It earned Singer Best Director at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films and Empire Awards.
Singer then created the filmís sequel, X2: X-Men United (2003). It was considered even better than the original. The film became a summer blockbuster and nabbed a Best Science Fiction Film award and a Best Director nomination (for Singer) at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.
"I always had the general idea of the suit. With X-Men, although they had extraordinary powers, they also had physical weaknesses. The suits were for protection, as well as costume. Superman is the Man of Steel. Bullets bounce off him, not the suit." Bryan Singer
After directing two episodes of the hit "House, M.D.," (starring Hugh Laurie), Singer continued his big screen projects by helming Superman Returns (2006). Both Michael Bay and Robert Rodriguez were offered the director's position, but Singer eventually landed the job. For the new epic installment of DC Comics' famous Man of Steel, Singer recruited a relatively unknown actor, Brandon Routh, to portray the tile role and surrounded him with better known profiles, including Kevin Spacey as villain Lex Luther and Kate Bosworth as his girlfriend Lois Lane.
Singer explained about casting Brandon Routh as Superman: "I was always dead set on casting an unknown. Brandon embodied the character the best; his acting talent, physical presence and personality."
As for his upcoming projects, it has been announced that Singer will helm The Mayor of Castro Street, a biopic of San Franciscoís gay rights activist Harvey Milk.
Commenting on the upcoming biopic, Singer said: "(Milk's) an extraordinary character, as a person in history. We're developing a story based on him that will probably center around the latter period of his life, leading up to his assassination. He is one of the great role models of our contemporary society that, unfortunately, a lot of people don't know about."
Singer is also set to direct another independent film, You Want Me to Kill Him, a teen thriller drama about two boys who meet on the internet and begin a bizarre friendship that finally ends in violence. He is also in negotiations to direct the yet untitled Superman Returns sequel, slated for a 2009 release.