'The Wolverine' Director Shortlist is Down to Eight Candidates

Wednesday, 25 May 2011 15:38 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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'The Wolverine' Director Shortlist is Down to Eight Candidates

When Darren Aronofsky departed the quasi-sequel The Wolverine more than two months ago, it did not come as a considerable shock.  In fact, it was more surprising that the auteur behind Black Swan, The Wrestler, and Requiem for a Dream was ever attached in the first place.  Since he left, 20th Century Fox has been searching for a suitable replacement to helm the continued adventures of Logan, played once again by Hugh Jackman.  Today, the shortlist of eight potential directors The Wolverine directors emerged, and it includes a healthy mix of stylists and reliable popcorn thrillists.  Check out the list of directors, one of whom might just provide a proper adamantium-laced adventure.

Variety's Showblitz got the exclusive on Fox's wishlist for The WolverineHere, for your most magnanimous judgment, are the candidates:

  • Doug Liman - Cut his teeth on independent fare like Swingers and Go, but proved his action chops with The Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and worked with superpowers in Jumper, with Hayden Christensen.
  • Justin Lin - Maybe the biggest no-brainer on the list, Lin just delivered a big hit with Fast Five, and the indefinite hold on his planned Terminator 5 leaves some potential room in his schedule.  That said, he's also moving ahead with another Fast sequel, and his Highlander remake has not yet been decapitated.
  • Jose Padilha - Brazilian director whose Elite Squad and Elite Squad 2 films were massive hits in several countries and brought him to Hollywood's attention.  He's currently signed on to direct MGM's Robocop remake, as well as the action-thriller Tri-Border, meaning he might be busy, too.
  • Gavin O'Connor - He directed the crime drama Pride and Glory, as well as the crowd-pleasing Miracle, and the upcoming MMA-filled drama Warrior, starring Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton.
  • Mark Romanek - Renowned music video director whose only feature output has been One Hour Photo and Never Let Me Go.  He was set to direct the Universal remake The Wolfman, but left the project due to creative and logistical issues with the studio.
  • Gary Shore - Known mostly for his commercial work, he's directed only one little-seen feature, The Draft, but he's also responsible for this Wolverine short film.
  • James Mangold - Previously directed Jackman in the romantic comedy Kate & Leopold, and subsequently helmed Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma, and last summer's Knight and Day.
  • Antoine Fuqua - Directed Denzel to an overdue Oscar in Training Day.  Since then, he has repeatedly tried his hand at big budget actioners, with Tears of the Sun, King Arthur, and Shooter.

I'm curious to see what y'all think of this list, and which director you want to see go berserk all over The Wolverine.   I'd say Mark Romanek, as his One Hour Photo is incredible, and he could bring a unique style to the material, much as Aronofsky would have done.

Whoever Fox selects, they'll be directing a screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, who also wrote The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie, and The Way of the Gun.  The initial plan for The Wolverine had been to film largely in Japan, where the bulk of the story is set, and it's currently unknown whether the recent devastating earthquake and tsunami will alter that plan.  Regardless of where and when it films, The Wolverine will still be set in the X-Universe, but will be otherwise unconnected to its predecessor, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which was helmed by South African director Gavin Hood.

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