Director Bryan Singer goes big with 'Jack the Giant Slayer'

Bryan Singer, the director of “X-Men” and “Superman Returns,” built his “Jack the Giant Slayer” from two separate but related folk tales, “Jack the Giant Killer” and it's more kid-friendly cousin, “Jack and the Beanstalk.”
BY GEORGE LANG glang@opubco.com Modified: February 28, 2013 at 5:40 pm •  Published: March 1, 2013
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Giant technology

It is a story that requires two massive elements to work on a visual level: the giants and the beanstalk. Singer said that in order for “Jack the Giant Slayer” to succeed, moviemaking technology needed to reach certain benchmarks for the giants' realm to feel compelling and realistic.

“A big thing that drove me to want to make this film was the fact that technology had come to a place with motion capture and animation that this could be possible,” he said. “You know, I grew up as a big fan of the old (Ray) Harryhausen films, and this was a chance to do the 21st-century version of that.”

Singer's career as a feature director began with 1993's “Public Access,” a thriller cowritten by his “Jack the Giant Slayer” scribe, Christopher McQuarrie, but it was his second film, 1995's “The Usual Suspects,” that launched Singer as an A-list director. While he has made character-driven dramas since, including “Apt Pupil” and “Valkyrie,” and recently ended an eight-year run as executive producer of “House, M.D.,” Singer shifted his focus toward big-budget adventures with 2000's “X-Men.” Singer stepped back from directing the “X-Men” films after 2003's “X2,” but returns to directing the franchise with next year's “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

Singer said that while he enjoys his work with more traditional dramas, blockbuster event movies that he grew up watching in the 1970s and 1980s inspired him to become a filmmaker. Human-sized stories could still be in his future, he said, but right now, Singer wants to make giant movies.

“It's exciting to play with an enormous canvas and to do things that have never been done before,” Singer said.

Travel and accommodations provided by Warner Bros.