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Bryan Singer (born September 17, 1965) is an American film director and film producer. Singer won critical acclaim for his work on The Usual Suspects, and is especially popular among fans of the sci-fi and comic book genres, for his work on the first two X-Men films and Superman Returns.
Singer was initially approached by 20th Century Fox to direct X-Men after directing The Usual Suspects, but not being a fan of comics and being unaware of the characters, Singer turned them down. However his friend, Tom DeSanto, a big fan of the comics and partner in his production company Bad Hat Harry Productions, eventually persuaded Singer to reconsider and, after reading the comics and becoming familiar with the characters, Singer signed on to direct. Rejecting all the scripts and storylines that were developed over a decade of failed production attempts, Singer developed the story for the film with DeSanto in a week and then worked on the script with writers Ed Solomon, Christopher McQuarrie, Joss Whedon, and finally David Hayter (who had started out as Singer's driver). Only Hayter received onscreen credit for writing the film. Singer won the 2000 Saturn Award for Best Direction for X-Men. Not all fans were in love with his version of the X-men due in large part to him not paying attention to most of the comic book adaptation and writing what he feels is his "own style" of how the X-men should look. Although the movie did good in the box office, he has taken heat from many X-men fans.
In June 2002 filming began on X2 in Canada with Singer again directing, this time from a screenplay written by David Hayter, Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty. In 2004, X2 was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, but lost to Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
In mid-2004, Singer was in negotiations to direct X-Men: The Last Stand for Fox. Fox and Singer could not meet an agreement and, after an extended period of nothing happening, Singer was offered the chance to direct the new Superman film, which was ready to go. On July 19, 2004, Variety reported that Singer had signed on to direct Superman Returns for Warner Bros. In retaliation, Fox terminated their production deal with Bad Hat Harry Productions, Singer's production company. Superman Returns was filmed in Australia in 2005, and was released on June 28, 2006. Singer claims that though he had not read the comics, he had always admired and identified with the character, citing the fact that he and Superman are both orphans. He instead based Returns on his love of the 1978 film made by Richard Donner.
Upon finishing Valkyrie at the end of 2007, Singer was scheduled to jump directly into the upcoming Superman sequel, which was scheduled to begin filming around March 2008. Attending the 2007 Saturn Awards along with Superman Returns writers Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris and producer Gil Adler, Singer confirmed that the story had been locked down, and the first draft would be completed near the end of 2007. Among the plans for the sequel include more action sequences, an alien villain, and Singer's promise to "go all Wrath of Khan on it". As of September 2008 Warner Brothers has decided to revamp the Superman franchise and it remains unclear if Singer or Routh will stay attached to it.