James Mangold To Direct Wolverine Sequel

The Wolverine sequel has been an interesting story to follow from a development perspective. First, Darren Aronofsky was going to reunite with Hugh Jackman – the two worked together on The Fountain – but then in a shocker, Aronofsky exited the project citing personal reasons for being away from his family while a bulk of the shooting took place in Japan. Then the earthquakes struck Japan in March. In April, Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) and David Slade (30 Days of Night) were two directors believed to be in the mix to get the directing gig.

But now it’s June and we’ve yet to get a director named. Until now.

James Mangold is both 20th Century Fox’s and star Hugh Jackman’s choice to direct The Wolverine. Mangold beat out the two names mentioned above as well as Gavin O’Connor (upcoming Warrior, Miracle) and Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Brooklyn’s Finest).

Look for the project to be shooting this fall. Christopher McQuarrie, who recently got a visibility boost with the potential hire of Tom Cruise for his next directorial effort, penned the screenplay to The Wolverine. His inspiration is the famed Chris Claremont and Frank Miller comic book mini-series, which finds Wolverine in Japan involved in a romance with a woman promised to another man.

What this means: It means that 20th Century Fox finally has a director in place for The Wolverine. Add to that, James Mangold is a very competent director when it comes to moving between genres. He directed Slyvester Stallone to his best received acting work since Rocky in the film Cop Land. Angelina Jolie won an Academy Award under his direction in Girl Interrupted. And he has a history with Hugh Jackman having previously worked together on Kate & Leopold. If production begins this fall, it could potentially be ready for a summer 2012 release. Unless Marvel Comics wants to change up its release strategy and position it for what looks to be heavy November/December 2012 line-up.

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Source: Deadline