Who Will Direct The Wolverine?
05.26.11 by BJSprecher
With director Matthew Vaughn's X-Men franchise prequel, X-Men: First Class, opening in theaters in just over a week, it appears as if Fox is finally getting around to looking for a replacement for Darren Aronofsky as director of the studio's next Marvel Comics adaptation, The Wolverine, the planned stand-alone sequel to 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In the wake of Aronofsky's departure—the Academy Award-nominated director didn't want to spend an entire year away from his family filming the movie overseas—David Slade (Twilight Saga: Eclipse), who had been in discussions with Fox before Aronofsky was hired, was rumored to be the top candidate to take the helm until he announced that he has had "no discussions" with Fox about the movie. Speculation then turned to Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code), who is a fan of the character, but he recently revealed his intention to make his sci-fi passion project, Mute, the next movie he directs. Now, Variety has revealed that Fox has put together a short list of eight potential directors to bring the feral mutant back to the big screen.
With credits ranging from indie fare to blockbuster tentpoles, the list of directors includes:
• Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Brooklyn's Finest)
• Doug Liman (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Jumper)
• Gary Shore (commercial director)
• Gavin O'Connor (Pride and Glory, upcoming Warrior)
• James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma, Knight and Day)
• Jose Padilha (Elite Squad, Elite Squad 2)
• Justin Lin (Fast and Furious, Five Five)
• Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo, Never Let Me Go)
The one candidate on the list who seems to be a little out of his league, Gary Shore, is also the one candidate who has apparently been lobbying for the job for some time, even putting together a highly-stylized video "application" for the directing gig that shows Wolverine squaring off against an army of ninjas and closes with a title card that reads "X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2."
The script for The Wolverine was written by Christopher McQuarrie (The Tourist) and is (at least partially) based on the classic Wolverine mini-series by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller (300, Sin City) in which Wolverine fights an army of ninjas and a samurai overlord for the right to be with the woman he loves. There is no scheduled start date for the movie, nor does it have a release date at this time.