If not Aronofsky, who should direct The Wolverine?

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.

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5 responses to “If not Aronofsky, who should direct The Wolverine?

  1. I do believe that Cronenberg is an ideal match for a film like this, but since he and others like Guillermo del Toro are probably pie-in-the-sky…I submit to you one Juan Antonio Bayona, who directed a fantastic Spanish film called ‘The Orphanage’. I have no idea if his new project with Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor ‘The Impossible’ will be any good, but his debut effort was certainly impressive. Then again, I thought the Same of Rian Johnson and he up and made The Brothers Bloom…so what do I know.

  2. I think it’d be funny if Fox approached Favreau. After all, they claim he bailed on Iron Man 3 because Marvel lowballed him, but this isn’t a Marvel Studios film. He’s shown he can do actiony superhero movies in the past.

    I regularly say that I’m not a movie guy, so I don’t really have favorite directors. I will say that I never liked what Singer did to the X-Men franchise. While it revitalized the comic movie genre, I always felt he based it too much in the real world. If you watch the bonus features on the first 2 movies, he makes no secret of the fact that he believes the mutant issue is an allegory for gays in society. I think that got preachy at times, and it also limited the villains we could get, as they all kinda had to be hateful humans. It closed the door for any of the off the wall X concepts, like Apocalypse.

    It started as a joke, but the more I think of it, I wouldn’t hate Ratner on this. X3 sucked because he can’t do teams, but he can do action. Unfortunately, the movie is based on the nuanced Wolverine in Japan adventures, so he wouldn’t find a way to make that subtle. It would just be Rush Hour 4 with claws. Not being a fan of the Japanese Wolverine tales, I kinda hope they just scrap the current script.

  3. I remember wanting to see “The Orphanage,” but I never did; will definitely Netflix it.

    Favreau is an interesting “fuck you” pick. X-Men is about the larger issue of civil rights, but the parallel is there (and Iceman’s “coming out” scenes is one of the best in the films). I think he set the table for Last Stand, and then Ratner stumbled in drunkenly and broke the table. If he did Wolverine, it’d be: “Hey bub… do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?”

    Also, the mini is ready-to-go as a film. It has everything!

  4. Juan Antonio Bayona sounds interesting. Outta the box? I’d say Chan-wook Park(Oldboy; Thirst), Katherine Bigelow is has all kinds of possibilities. She could make a tough action film. Just look at most of her career. Duncan Jones (Moon; Source Code), Neil Marshall (The Descent), Peter Berg (after all, Hancock was a hit and it was atleast well made), Marc Forster (If Martin Campbell do 2 Bond films and score Green Lantern, then the director of Quantum Of Solace could score Wolverine), Matt Reeves (Cloverfield; Let Me In), Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity; Mr. & Mrs. Smith), Alex Proyas (Dark City; Knowing)….that’s all I can think of for now.

  5. there’s only one name i could think of for this one: CHRIS NOLAN.

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