KEY POINTS

  • Bryan Singer allegedly offered auditions and roles in "X-Men" to young men in exchange for sexual favors, a report said
  • One on-set source denies Singer gave then-boyfriend Adam Robitel a cameo role for this reason
  • "X-Men" insiders said the casting of Pyro actor Alex Burton should have raised a "red flag"

Bryan Singer, once lauded for helming one of the films that kicked off the modern superhero movie era, allegedly used "X-Men" roles and auditions as a way to get sexual favors from young men and once invited a sex offender to the set of the 2000 movie, a report said.

As the first "X-Men" movie turns 20 years old, a new The Hollywood Reporter story detailed Singer's actions behind the scenes of the "X-Men" films, with sources telling the publication that his "tempestuous nature" and drug use resulted in the director displaying "erratic and destructive" behavior and making horrible choices on set.

The report also said that a number of young men, including some who were minors at the time, have claimed in published interviews that Singer offered "X-Men" auditions and roles in exchange for sex. THR noted that the smaller and extra roles were usually played by handsome young men.

The casting of Adam Robitel, an undergrad at USC at the time, as Guy on Line in the superhero flick was also speculated to be less than entirely professional. However, an on-set source shut down these claims, noting that Singer and Robitel had been dating for three years already by the time he was given the role.

Another THR source recalled Singer bringing Marc Collins-Rector to the set just months after he was accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old. Collins-Rector, former chairman of Digital Entertainment Network (DEN), was later accused of sexual assault by a cast member and was eventually indicted for transporting minors across state lines for sex in August 2000.

Project insiders told THR that the casting of Alex Burton, who was 18 when he played the role of Pyro in the first "X-Men," should have raised a "red flag." It remains unclear how Burton, who had zero acting credits at the time, got to play the character, but a source said he was told by the actor that Singer and Collins-Rector "created the role" for him.

Burton later filed a civil lawsuit against three of Singer's friends and business associates — Collins-Rector, Chad Shackley and Brock Pierce — a few days after the premiere of "X-Men" in July 2000. He did not name Singer in the suit but accused Collins-Rector of threatening "to use his power and influence in the entertainment industry to prevent Burton from gaining employment in the field of entertainment."

Burton, who goes by a different name now, has never appeared in another Hollywood project, including the sequel, "X2: X Men United."

In 2017, Singer was accused of sexual assault by Cesar Sanchez-Guzman, who alleged that the director raped and forced oral sex on him at a yacht in 2003 when he was only 17. Singer has since denied the sexual assault allegation.

"Bryan categorically denies these allegations and will vehemently defend this lawsuit to the very end," Singer's lawyer, Andrew Brettler, said.

Meanwhile, Olivia Munn previously shared one instance of Singer's unprofessional behavior. She revealed that while they were filming "X-Men: Apocalypse" in 2016, Singer once left the set and flew to Los Angeles for about 10 days, leaving them to continue shooting without a director.

"I never thought any of it was normal, but I didn’t realize that other people also thought it wasn’t normal," Munn said. "And the other people who thought it wasn’t normal would be people at high levels, people who make decisions on whether to hire this person."

"I’m saying even before the #MeToo stuff was exposed — stuff that’s really horrendous and just nauseating to be around — there’s also just the bad behavior of people getting away with it," she continued.

Bryan Singer “The Real O’Neals” star Noah Galvin revived sexual assault allegations against “X-Men” director Bryan Singer, who is pictured Feb. 26, 2013. Photo: Getty Images