Two Former Bryan Singer Films Get New Directors

Posted by April 25, 2011 Comment

With Jack the Giant Killer shooting now for a 2012 release, what we’ll end up with is a four-year gap since Valkyrie, a fairly long space between directorial projects for Bryan Singer. What was the hold up? It’s not entirely clear, but he has been contributing, sometimes as a fully credited producer, to the various X-Men projects being developed at Fox.

Somewhere along the way, though, Singer was attached to direct Prisoners, from a very hot script by Aaron Guzikowski. I read the script at the time Singer was involved and, sadly, found it a touch too familiar and, ultimately, underwhelming.

Also linked to the film at various points were the actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman and the director Antoine Fuqua. All have moved on by now, and the film looks set get a fresh start.

First on board, report The LA Times, is director Dennis Villeneuve. This would be his English language debut after a career making French language films in Canada, most notably the recent Incendies.

The other Singer cast-off is a film I genuinely thought he’d get around to some day. Here’s Baz Bamigboye:

Jack O’Connell, who will star with Ruth Wilson and Anna Maxwell Martin in the film You Want Me To Kill Him?, based on the true story of a young man who hacks into an internet site and becomes embroiled in a murder.

Andrew Douglas will direct, but it’s worth noting that Bryan Singer — the man behind The Usual Suspects, Matthew Vaughn’s forthcoming X-Men: The Early Years, and next year’s Jack The Giant Killer — will produce.

Also worth noting that Singer developed the project as a directing opportunity for quite some time. Why he decided to put down the megaphone on this mission, I have no idea. It would have been wonderful to see him back with smaller-scale drama, and the story of two obsessive teens indulging in spy-story fantasies and a scary death pact, seemed ripe for his skills in fraught character drama, as per Apt Pupil, The Usual Suspects and plenty of scenes in his grander-scale fare.

When first announced, the project was being called U Want Me 2 Kill Him?, to highlight the online component. I guess that’s dated now.

Andrew Douglas, incidentally, was the director of 2005’s Amityville Horror do-over. To see him in a more favourable light, perhaps, here’s a Making Of clip pertaining to his more recent project, the short film The Miracle of Phil.

(Last Updated April 25, 2011 12:17 pm )

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