Two weeks ago, Hugh Jackman dropped out of the lead role in Avon Man to begin preparing for his return as the Adamantium-laced, hot-tempered mutant Wolverine in his own self-titled sequel, X-Men: Wolverine 2. A few days later the director’s shortlist for the project completely changed, dropping Matt Reeves, Tony Scott, Kathryn Bigelow and Timur Bekmambetov in favor of David Slade (Eclipse) and Robert Schwentke (Red).
Twentieth Century Fox is revving up pre-production on the next X-Men installment featuring the franchise’s poster boy mutant and now the shortlist for the director’s gig has changed yet again. Out goes Robert Schwentke and in comes Darren Aronofsky.
Deadline has the exclusive on the director shortlist update, reporting that Schwentke dropped out of the running for Wolverine 2 to pursue a job helming either Ryan Reynolds’ RIPD or the remake of The Osterman Weekend. It’s not too surprising since David Slade was the clear favorite after the unsurprising success that was The Twilight Saga: Eclipse in what was surprisingly the best film of the series.
Stepping into the ring to battle for the Wolverine 2 director’s chair against Slade is Darren Aronofsky who may have the advantage having previously worked with star Hugh Jackman in The Fountain and having won the hearts of moviegoers for his work on The Wrestler, revitalizing Mickey Rourke’s career.
Slade met with Jackman while he was working on Real Steel but Deadline confirms that Aronofsky has also chatted with Jackman about the project. Ultimately, it will no doubt come down to who Jackman wants to command the project and who will help it sell and win over the most fans. It’s no secret that Fox is interested in breaking into the Twilight fanbase with their attempts at wooing Taylor Lautner into X-Men: First Class but still managing to grab another Twilight star in Edi Gathegi.
I still believe Slade will be the director chosen. He proved he can do a lot with a PG-13 rating, winning many more skeptical moviegoers and critics over, with a Twilight film no less. He made action moments and character moments much more effective, while maintaing the dark themes of the story and again, there’s the bankability now behind Slade that Aronofsky doesn’t yet have with mainstream audiences, despite his insanely gifted works presented on his resume – just look at his last three films: The Wrestler, The Fountain, Requiem for a Dream.
Who would you choose to direct Wolverine 2?