The Wolverine Gets A New Director

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:26 pm,

The Wolverine New Director The Wolverine Gets A New Director

X-Men: First Class was a pleasantly surprising success for Twentieth Century Fox and most fans of the franchise. Not only is it performing well at the box office worldwide, but it’s critical response has been overwhelmingly positive as well, currently sitting at more than double the fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an 87% vs. X-Men Origins: Wolverine and its 37%. Hugh Jackman as the adamantium-laced, hot tempered mutant is still an easy sell for the studio and they are continuing work on preparing for another solo feature for the franchise star with The Wolverine.

Things were on the right track when news broke that the sequel to Wolverine’s first solo outing wouldn’t be a direct sequel, but rather another story about the character. Pairing star Hugh Jackman with director Darren Aronofsky again for the film gave moviegoers a legitimate reason to get excited. But then Aronofsky dropped out

The official reason for Aronofsky exiting the project was that the film’s international shooting schedule would keep him away from his family for a year, but some speculate on more unfavorable reasons such as creative differences (an instant red flag for an X-Men film). Regardless of Aronofsky’s reasoning, he is not part of the picture and so Fox and producer/star Jackman began their search for a replacement, one the Aussie actor described as being “just as good” as Aronofsky.

Those are certainly tough shoes to fill and for fans, some mighty words to live up to. Then came the list of 8 directorial candidates to helm The Wolverine, including Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), Doug Liman (Jumper), Gary Shore (commercials director), Gavin O’Connor (Pride and Glory), James Mangold (Knight and Day), Jose Padilha (Elite Squad), Justin Lin (Fast Five) and Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go).

When the reports came out of these 8 directors being in the running, I listed James Mangold as one of the better choices of the bunch. As it turns out, Jackman and Twentieth Century Fox took my advice (not really) and after narrowing down the list to him, Gavin O’Connor and Antoine Fuqua, have chosen Mangold as the new director of Wolverine 2 (officially titled The Wolverine). They’re entering negotiations but the report indicates that he will accept.

To the average moviegoer, Mangold may not be a familiar name, but it will be. He directed the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line, which earned 5 Oscar nominations, including a win for Reese Witherspoon, and followed that up with the western, 3:10 to Yuma which also earned a pair of nods from the Academy. Since then, he directed the action-comedy Knight and Day with Tom Cruise, but he has a pile of projects in development.

James Mangold arguably may not be of Darren Aronofsky’s caliber, but let’s wait and see what he does with the next installment in the X-Men franchise. If 3:10 to Yuma is any indication, Mangold can bring the character moments and suspenseful action needed to make a true-to-form Wolverine movie.

The Wolverine was aiming for a summer 2012 release, but without an official release date and post-tsunami conditions in Japan, it could be further delayed. There’s also that Tim Miller-directed Deadpool film to look forward to.


Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes

Source: Deadline

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  1. The first one sucked so much I didn’t even finish watching it.

    This news sucks so much I wouldn’t even watch this movie.

    • Why does this news suck? (Just looking for explanation/insight btw)

      • After Aronofsky dropped out, do you really think Wolverine deserves a sequel?

        • Yes. I want to see his journey to Japan.

          Also, it’s not a direct sequel (I wrote that in the article too).

  2. This news does NOT suck. If you don’t like a movie don’t watch the movie, if one doesn’t like hearing news about a movie, then DON’T READ THE ARTICLE. Kind of simple really. This movie I WILL see where X-Men: Worst Class I will NEVER see, in ANY format.

    • “If you don’t like a movie don’t watch the movie”

      I just said I won’t.

      “if one doesn’t like hearing news about a movie, then DON’T READ THE ARTICLE.”

      I like news about movies, that’s why I go here. Just some I don’t.

      • Your name suits you.

        • Lol, two points to INK.

          • How the hell are you going to know if you don’t like an article unless you read it???? — He read the article and he didn’t like it.. I dont think he means that he doesnt like how Rob wrote the article. I think he means he doesn’t like what he is hearing. He doesn’t approve of the director-whatever. you guys are wasting your times ragging on someone- when you should be talking about the movie!!-

            – as for the movie myself.. I will see it no matter what. I will cross my fingers, cause I also would like to see what happens on Wolverines journey through Japan. I am tentative that they will make good on it, but you never know! I didn’t have high hopes for the Xmen first class, but it turned out to be a really good movie. So, we can all be wrong sometimes. I still hope Fox looses all rights to Xmen franchise and it goes down to Marvel though. I know I ‘aint alone in that regard.

  3. Can’t say I’m very interested as I would be if Aranofsky was involved, but I am hopeful.

  4. Finally!!!!! i waited for too long for them to make up their mind. I am hopeful. I am such a die hard Wolverine fan. This news does not suck at all :)

  5. Intensely skeptical. Sorry. I was gung-ho for First Class from day one, however, I’m with *THAT guy,* idk if Wolverine needs a sequel. If anything, they need to collaborate with Singer and Vaughn to some extent in establishing its standing in the X-Men cinematic universe. XMOW worked the franchise into a somewhat irreversible continuity and plothole rigidity. With that said, this movie will fall more on the writers than the director. If this goes full steam, I wish all the best to Mangold. This project will take plenty more slack than First Class did. It will be hella difficult to turn some hardcore fans around to the idea of a successful Wolverine sequel after the burn of the first movie.

  6. I have no opinion on the director, but its the story that matters.

  7. Your all smoking if you thought a movie that made a killing at the box office wasn’t going to get a sequel. Yea Origins sucked, but it made money. At least with this film you have a Director who knows how to film action and drama. 3:10 to Yuma was a great movie that had good character development and action. If Wolverine can reboot himself out of the X-Men franchise, not counting First Class cuz that was just for fun, then there are many stories to tell with that character.

    D.A was best, but this dude aint no slouch of a Director.

  8. THAT guy is has lost his marbles.

    Wolverine deserves a gazillion sequels. No character in the Marvel universe is as captivating as Logan.

    As for Aranofsky, he’s just overrated.

    This Magnold guy could do wonders, Yuma was a great movie and so was Walk The Line.

    Good times ahead.

    PS – Apart from Magneto doing all of his magnetic stuff with the submarine and the missiles, The Wolverine cameo was the best thing in the First Class movie for me. Best.Cameo.Ever

    • “Wolverine deserves a gazillion sequels. No character in the Marvel universe is as captivating as Logan.”

      “As for Aranofsky, he’s just overrated.”


      I wont even start on this one…

  9. Huh? I don’t understand all the negativity here.

    I hated the first Wolverine movie as much as anybody, but this is a different movie. And from all indications, James Mangold isn’t a bad director.

    I think the best news I saw is that they would apparently do this Wolverine movie without even referencing the first movie at all. “Not a direct sequel, but rather another story about the character” means it’s going to be a self-contained movie.

    I assure you guys, there’s more than enough interesting Wolverine stories for this movie to have the chance to be far more memorable than the first one was. And maybe to be THE Wolverine movie we can all happily own.

  10. Looks good, I actually like Knight & Day. Go figure.

    • You know, I watched Knight and Day, expecting to hate it but I quite enjoyed it as a generic action flick it was perfectly watchable, I’ve seen a lot worse.

      • You are correct sir. Not too bad a movie, fun with good action.

      • I agree. I didn’t mind Knight and Day – It’s 3:10 to Yuma that sells me on Mangold though.

        • I agree completely Rob..Loved that movie…

          • I also enjoyed Knight and Day for some reason. The overuse of CGI was pretty bad, but the movie had me laughing. The are very few Coen Brothers-type directors out that that pretty much always make great movies, but Mangold has a darn good track record. I think Wolverine is in good hands.

      • Honestly I thought Knight and day was horrible. Pure crap, but hardly any of the blame falls on the direction. I think he did the best he did with his cast and a terrible script, but IMO it was a horribly awful. Once again Hollywood left me wondering why do cameron diaz and Tom Cruise still get jobs?

    • I liked Knight & Day too.

  11. Darren Aronofsky to James Mangold. That seems like a huge step backward. I love ‘walk the line’ and I think ‘Knight & Day’ was pretty good. But I just can’t see this working out. Mangold makes ‘soft’ movies. Wolverine deserves a director who can make it a gritty, dark, meaningful wolverine movie. I’m not asking for a batman begins knock off but for a Jason Bourne or Punisher(2004) kind of movie.

    • 3:10 to Yuma. I noticed you didn’t mention that. Have you seen it?

  12. I rewatched XMO:Wolverine at the weekend, in an attempt to find something in it that I liked. I did the same with X3 and found that I didnt hate it as much as I first thought.
    But with XMO:W, I still hated it. And my god the special effects are attrocious, possibly the worst I’ve seen in a modern blockbuster. They made such an effort to make it fit in with the other films that they forgot to tell a decent story. Gambit was cool though.

    • I’m just the opposite. Wolverine wasn’t good by any means, but for me it was leaps and bounds ahead of X3 which was just a big mess. It was a Random Mutant royal rumble. They just through as many mutants as they could think of regarless wheather it made sense or not. They constructed action scenes and then thought “Now we need a story to link these mutants to these action scenes” Story should come first, but that was not the case for X3. Wolverine was terribly flawed, but I could at least follow the story and it had it’s moments where I could connect to characters unlike X3 which had no emotional connection. Also at least they didn’t kill off any major characters in Wolverine like Cyclops or Xavier.

  13. Well with James Mangold directing, expected Wolverine doing a sing-a-long.

    Just joking, I haven’t watched James Mangold’s movies so there should be a great reason why the studio picked him as the director.

    I hope he does the film well.

  14. @nawtnt

    You should watch 3:10 to Yuma.. I’m pretty sure that’s what got him the job.

  15. @DSB, I did the same thing the weekend before. I watched all 3 X Men and the Wwolverine. And I felt the same way. I haven’t seen Last Stand since the theaters and after watching it again I don’t think it’s as bad as people say it is. But Wolverine gets worse with each viewing. I don’t love or hate the choice of Mangold. Knight and Day was pretty fun to watch and 3:10 & Walk The Line are pretty good but I wouldn’t say great films. I’m more concerned with who has written the script.

  16. I liked 3:10 to Yuma

  17. Walk the Line and 3:10 to Yuma are very good movies that aren’t the typical CGI fests which is probably why people don’t see this working. The main things to take away from what was wrong with the Origins is do not put any other X-Men in the movie at all, stick with the Claremont/Miller story. Japan, ninjas, actual martial arts fight scenes. No lasers shooting from anyone, no jamming other characters in just to say “hi”.

    And don’t try and tie it to First Class, X-Men 1-3, let it be a “stand-alone” movie like everyone likes to call things nowadays. The fact is that Wolverine story and most of what they botched in Origins from Weapon X had nothing to do with the main X-Men book and the lack of understanding the producers had about that showed.

  18. DGN, I respect your opnion and I will watch 3:10 To Yuma.

  19. the director seems to have a solid film background, however it’s the story I’m worried about I mean they did alreaady screw him up once. I might just wait for Deadpool

  20. The more Wolverine the better, IMO. I actually enjoyed A LOT of Origins, especially the beginning with him fighting the wars throughout history. It had it’s flaws, but it was still an entertaining film, IMO.

  21. No one mentions COPLAND – fantastic movie

    And as for Mangold being ‘soft, watch Identity

    Plenty of blood and gore in that movie

    Baseball bat rammed down someone’s throat? CHECK :-)

    This news has me intrigued……

  22. James Mangold is a fantastic choice. He is a great director and IMO he’s a step up from Aronofsky who to me is as over rated as they get. His films often focus more on being strange and weird than making sense. He often (IMO) sacrafices story to do something weird. To me he’s a slightly less crazy Tim Burton, but with a little talent unlike Burton. The Fountain is still one of the worst films I’ve seen in my life. I watched it being a fan of Hugh, but came out wondering if he would just sign up for anything. It was just one WTF after another. It pretended to be interesting, but really wasn’t at all. It tried to hide it’s lack of intellegent and interesting thoughts with weirdness. Aronofsky could make much better film if he stopped confusing weirdness/shock value with thought provoking. Most of his films have more holes in their plot than my macaroni strainer ( I know it’s not just for macaroni, but that’s all I use it for).

    Mangold however has been very consistently good even in his worst films no one ever comes out blaming the director. I often watch just about anything with his name attached to it regrettably that some times leads me to crap like Knight and Day, but he did the best he could with the awful cast and poor plot. It was at least ALMOST watchable and with most other directors it wouldn’t of even been that.

    • I would think all the love for Aronofsky came from the Wrestler since I find it hard to believe allot of the comic book movie fans were really into movies like Requiem For A Dream and the Fountain. Black Swan has gotten allot of press of course but, don’t see how that would translate into a slam-dunk for Wolverine.

      I think it came down to Jackman liking to work with him and at the time Aronofsky not being as in demand. I don’t think he wanted the hassle of working with Fox, and the production company for the film on a project that would have had twenty eyes on him and who knows how many hands trying to manipulate things.

  23. why doesn’t wolverine wear his full uniform in any of these movies ? Am I the only one that feels that wolverine without his mask is like Superman without a cape ? We’ve gone thru 4 full length feature films with the horrible X-Men uniforms and frankly I’m tired of it. Some of the true X-men fans such as myself would appreciate if the uniforms resembled the costumes from the comics. The look alone will help this franchise, if the wolverine doesn’t produce this franchise will be boarding on Batman n Robin territory !!!

  24. They need to go Pitch Black with this one. Meaning not so over the top and more realistic, gritty, rated R (wont happen) and just downright bloody.