Unlike many other movie directors, Bryan Singer is not afraid to balance time between the big screen in theaters, and the smaller one in the home. So when Singer’s name is attached to something like a pilot, it’s usually not the biggest news.
But then again, it’s not every day Singer steps in to direct the pilot of an X-Men television series.
The series, from Burn Notice creator Matt Nix, centers on “two ordinary parents who discover that their children possess mutant powers.” And because there’s a government that’s not too keen on mutants, the family has to go on the run, becoming part of an underground network of mutants, all fighting to survive.
Fox has ordered a put-pilot from sister company Fox 21 Television Studios as well as Marvel Entertainment. That means Fox must, at the very least, air the pilot, or pay what would likely be a substantial financial penalty.
Bringing in Singer will not only help give the pilot even more pedigree, but it also could help define the style and approach the series could take during a television run.
Singer did just that with the X-Men live-action franchise itself, directing the initial X-Men film in 2000, that grossed $296.3 million globally – or $425.1 million today. He would go on to direct three more X-Men films, including last year’s X-Men: Apocalypse.
In all, Singer’s X-Men films have generated just under $2 billion in worldwide box office receipts for Fox and Marvel.
Yet, Singer also has established himself as a television director, even if it’s primarily for pilots – what some consider one of the most important jobs, since a series depends on a pilot not only for its overall themes, but also on winning a sale to full series. His first crack at television directing came in 2004 for the House pilot starring Hugh Laurie.
Singer also directed the 2012 broken pilot Mockingbird Lane that tried to be a serious approach to the 1960s sitcom The Munsters. And most recently, he directed the pilot to the short-lived CBS series Battle Creek.
Along the way, he’s earned four Emmy nominations as an executive producer of House, which earned a nod for outstanding drama series between 2006 and 2009.
Singer will work as an executive producer on the series if it’s picked up by Fox along with some other familiar names in the X-Men sphere like Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg. They’ll be joined by Marvel executives Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory.
Fox could make a decision on whether to pick the X-Men pilot up to series later this spring.
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