'Wolverine' Director Candidates Down to Eight or So

May 26, 2011

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Alright, all you would-be The Wolverine directors, you all can stop calling Fox to make sure they got your résumé. Unless your name is José Padilha (Elite Squad), Doug Liman (Jumper), Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go), Justin Lin (Fast Five), Gavin O'Connor (Pride and Glory), James Mangold (Knight and Day), or Gary Shore (commercials), you are probably not getting this job, says Variety, who yesterday released this not-that-short list of candidates still up for the coveted position of The Wolverine director.

Fox has been searching for someone new to take over the Japan-set sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine ever since Darren Aronofsky left the project in March, citing a need to be with his family instead of in Asia, making a movie about a man with a metal skeleton and claws in his wrist. The diversity of the contenders they're looking at--from Romanek, who's never done a blockbuster before, to Shore, who's never even done a feature, to Liman, who has a proven track record of making uneven contributions to the action genre--would seem to show that the studio is considering extremely varied approaches to the film. Or that they're hugely incompetent, and are hoping someone will show them a comic book or something that will explain what this Clawman is supposed to be.

Either way, their choices aren't as completely scattershot as they seem at first blush. Padilha recently replaced Aronofsky as director of that RoboCop remake, for example, so having the same guy replace Aronofsky again probably makes all the sense in the world to the guys at Fox HQ. And the fact that Fast Five has made half-a-million dollars worldwide has pretty much convinced every executive ever that Justin Lin must be Our Greatest Director. As for Shore, it seems his inclusion has less to do with his Adidas commercials and more to do with a demo animatic (found by BleedingCool) he made to show off how good he'd be at making Wolverine fight ninjas. Let's take a look at that, yeah?

Ut oh, Zack Snyder, looks like someone's gunning for your spot as "(Substanceless) Visionary Director"!

Anyway, anyone have a top pick from this litter?

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