Roughly this time 16 years ago, Bryan Singer was spearheading a new era for blockbuster cinema. His 2000 movie X-Men was the largest-scale Marvel Comics adaptation ever to make the big screen at that point; and its success helped ensure that a great many more comic book movies would follow.
Fast-forward to the present day, and the X-Men series is still going strong, with Singer back on board for his fourth outing. However, the film in question hasn't been met with such universal praise this time around. C'est la vie.
However, while exactly 50% of Singer's directorial filmography to date has been devoted to comic book movies, there's a bit more variety to him than that. One of the exciting young directors to emerge in the early 1990s (around the same time as Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Richard Linklater), Singer started out with more intimate, personal, character-based films with a considerably harder edge than the blockbusters he's done since.
So which version is the best? Dark, small-scale indie Bryan Singer, or big-budget superhero movie Bryan Singer? Or is there even necessarily that great a divide between the two?
Here's a look back over the 10 films he's directed to date, ranked in order of preference.
10. Jack The Giant Slayer
The sudden rush of fairy tale-based blockbusters in recent years has been pretty bewildering in many respects. However, no one film of this curious subgenre has bewildered viewers quite so intensely as this oddball fantasy adventure.
The 2013 release of Jack the Giant Slayer (originally entitled Jack the Giant Killer, not that the title changes much) marked Singer's return to directing after a five-year hiatus, but it did not prove an especially illustrious comeback. Nicholas Hoult feels a little out of his depth as Jack, the farm boy of yore whose trade of a horse for beans results in an unexpected adventure.
It takes the essentials of the fairy tale and retrofits it to a more grandiose tale of giants at war with humans and a forbidden romance between the peasant Jack and a princess. In so doing it tries to strike a largely light-hearted tone somewhere between Lord of the Rings and The Princess Bride. The results are of passing enjoyment, but too uneven to really hit the mark.
Highlights include an endearingly camp turn from Ewan McGregor, clearly having a ball as a dashing knight with a plummy English accent; downsides include an over-reliance on ugly CGI for the giants, and a present day epilogue that's utterly irrelevant and makes little sense.