Well, that was quick: the dream of a Wolverine prequel helmed by Darren Aronofsky appears to be over, as the visionary director drops out for what appear to be personal reasons. I’m assuming that the Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, but also The Tourist) script, based on the 1982 Frank Miller & Chris Claremont miniseries Wolverine, is still on the table. Disappointing, especially after Aronofsky promised such great things, but salvageable. So, if not Aronofsky, who should direct The Wolverine?
The quintessential Wolverine miniseries details Logan’s exploits in Japan. It’s a tale of honor, with a realistic love triangle and plenty of berzerker action; it established the character of Wolverine that the world knows and loves. The pie-in-the-sky director would be Quentin Tarantino, but you can safely put that on the “fan boy wishlist.” Same goes for body-gore master David Cronenberg. And while Robert Rodriguez has adapted Frank Miller before, his style may be too bombastic for this one.
Bryan Singer saved the superhero genre with his X-Men films, but he is stuck in pre-production for three films (Battlestar Galactica, Excalibur, and Jack the Giant Killer) and probably can’t save this one. The same goes for Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen), who takes over the Superman franchise from Singer next year. I’m not sure that Matthew Vaughn would do another comic film after directing three in three years.
Last summer, rumored directors included Matt Reeves, Tony Scott, Kathryn Bigelow, and Timur Bekmambetov. Reeves showed promise on his remake Let Me In, and Bigelow would represent Fox thinking outside of the box; both would be good choices. Bekmambetov would work as well, but he’s tied up with the sequel to Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Pray it’s not Scott; Ridley’s brother hasn’t made a good film in over decade.
One name I’ll totally pull out of nowhere is Edward Zwick, director of The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond, Defiance, and Love and Other Drugs; his diverse body of work demonstrates the range required to bring nuance to a comic book movie.
Luckily, Wolverine will return to the screen after the disastrous Origins flick. But without the right director, this prequel might stumble down the same path.