Disgraced director and producer Bryan Singer, who has faced numerous allegations of sexual assault, almost lost his entire cast during production of X2, the 2003 sequel to 2000's original X-Men film.
In an extensive new piece from the Hollywood Reporter about the development of the X-Men film series and the toxic culture Singer helped foster, it was revealed he allegedly went ahead with a failed stunt that resulted in Hugh Jackman covered in blood, prompting the cast to revolt.
The allegations surrounding Singer's behavior predate his work on X-Men, as he was accused of asking minors to film a nude shower scene for his 1998 film Apt Pupil. Despite this, he was welcomed by studio executives, and one of them has suggested that Fox ignoring a 1997 lawsuit against him led to his increasingly inexcusable behavior on set.
"His behavior was poor on the first movie," an anonymous executive said of Singer. "We accommodated him on the first movie, and therefore we can accommodate him on the second movie. And on and on. And it created a monster."
By the time X2 began filming, Singer's behavior allegedly grew more "erratic and destructive," leading to a fight with him and producer Tom DeSanto that shut down production. Sources close to the situation indicated that DeSanto attempted to put an end to shooting when he heard that Singer was "incapacitated" after he had taken a "narcotic." Rightfully so, DeSanto was concerned that someone on the set could be hurt, but Singer ignored his concerns.
The entire main cast was present for the filming of the scene except for Ian McKellen. With no stunt coordinator on set, Singer went ahead with the stunt that ultimately left Jackman "bleeding on camera."
As a result of the incident, the set was shut down by producer Ralph Winter. Despite the concerns from cast and crew, 20th Century Fox executives allegedly sided with Singer and told DeSanto to leave the set. The entire cast minus McKellen and Rebecca Romijn confronted Singer in his trailer the next day and threatened to quit if DeSanto wasn't on set anymore. Halle Berry was so furious with him that she told him, "You can kiss my Black ass."
Despite all of the allegations against him, and his documented unprofessional behavior, Singer returned to the X-Men franchise for Days of Future Past and Apocalypse.