The Wolverine, if in fact it’s still called that, will likely be directed by James Mangold, with negotiations beginning between the director and Fox.
Mangold stepped onto the scene at Sundance in 1995 with the Liv Tyler film Heavy, a quiet and sensitive character study that won him the special jury prize at that festival. An odd choice for knuckle-blades perhaps, but Mangold has turned in several action dramas along the road to somewhere-in-a-Japanese-bar-a-hairy-gaijin-drinks-to-remember.
Cop Land and 3:10 to Yuma are the most notable of these, both focusing heavily on building tension rather than stacking bullet-time sequences, with the Tom Cruise vehicle Knight and Day serving up more of a crowd pleasing romp. His career has ranged from the lone wolf lyrics of Walk the Line to the I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-better Kate & Leopold, where Mangold wasted his own talent as well as that of Hugh Jackman. The romantic comedy is also charged with mangling the career of post-lip-job Meg Ryan well beyond hope for resuscitation. (That surgery broke my heart.)
His work contains a sprinkling of associations with strong silent characters and a working relationship with Wolverine’s star actor, but I’ve personally checked myself out of the hype on this one. No matter who steps in to helm this movie when the contract is finally signed, it won’t be Darren Aronofsky who abandoned every Frank Miller related project he got involved in. I have no doubt that had he stayed with the project, it would have been the finest superhero film of all time.[Via Deadline]