Update: Darren Aronofsky is now officially in talks to direct Wolverine 2. See below for details.

20th Century Fox’s first X-Men prequel Wolverine didn’t do that well critically (even X-Men loyalists were disappointed) but with the movie taking in around $373 million (double it’s budget) and post-credit sequences hinting at a Japan-set sequel, you just knew there was going to be a Wolverine 2.

One of the interesting things about Wolverine 2 has been the diversity of the directors that have been linked to the project over time. Directors such as David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse), Matt Reeves (Let Me In), Tony Scott (Unstoppable) and Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler) have all been directorial candidates at one point or another. However, it looks like Aronofsky is the one who could end up directing Wolverine 2.

According to Deadline, Aronofsky has begun talks with 20th Century Fox to direct Wolverine 2,which means he’s beaten out Slade, who was reported back in August as being the studio’s other potential choice.

So why has Aronofsky become Fox’s top choice? Well, first there’s the fact that the director has a close working relationship with Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman, from their collaboration on The Fountain (I imagine for Aronofsky the “Hugh Jackman factor” is playing a big part here).

Darren Aronofsky directing Hugh Jackman on set of 'The Fountain'

Besides that, the studio is bound to be impressed with how Aronofsky made The Wrestler – which on paper is a standard down and out has-been story – into a huge critical and commercial success ($44 million from a $6 million budget). And of course there’s the Oscar buzz surrounding Black Swan.

Snagging Aronofsky for Wolverine 2 would give the movie some serious credibility after the first one failed in more than a few ways. It’s an odd fit when you first hear Aronofsky and Wolverine in the same sentence, but once you mull it over it actually sounds like it could work very well. Just imagine Aronofsky’s unique, meticulous and detailed style of filmmaking merged with a blockbuster…

Aronofsky is obviously a hot director in Hollywood right now, evidenced by the fact that he was once in talks to direct the Superman reboot, Man of Steel. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past couple of days, you’ll know that Superman went to Zack Snyder.

Just to be clear: this isn’t an official confirmation of Aronofsky signing on to direct Wolverine 2.  At the end of the day, he could still turn down the job  – it’s not like he’d be hurting for other offers if he did. In fact, while Fox wants him for Wolverine 2, Vulture is reporting that Warner Bros. is offering Aronofsky Tales from the Gangster Squad, a 1940s cops-and-robbers drama that was previously offered to Ben Affleck before he turned it down (coincidentally, Affleck was also in the running for the Superman reboot but also turned it down).

It appears that Wolverine 2 is winning out over Gangster Squad for the time being, but anything can happen in this business so don’t be surprised if Aronofsky’s opts to pass on the Wolverine sequel in order to do Gangster Squad.

Update: Deadline is reporting that Aronofsky has chosen to take a pass on Tales from the Gangster Squad, choosing instead to reunite with Jackman for Wolverine 2. A deal hasn’t been closed yet but he’s now officially in talks for the superhero movie sequel.

Considering Fox’s interest and that pre-established relationship with Jackman, I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear confirmation of Aronofsky directing Wolverine 2 real soon. Follow us on twitter (@screenrant) to stay updated.

Source: Deadline and Vulture