After a three-month search that found Fox considering such directors as Duncan Jones and Mark Romanek, the studio has settled on James Mangold to replace Darren Aronofsky on The Wolverine, Deadline reports.
Mangold, who helmed 3:10 to Yuma, Walk the Line and Knight and Day, appeared on Fox’s recent shortlist of candidates, which reportedly narrowed even further this week to include just two other names: Gavin O’Connor (Pride and Glory) and Antoine Fuqua (Brooklyn’s Finest).
The selection of Mangold will help to put The Wolverine back on track following the surprise departure of Arronofsky and the earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan, where much of the film is to be shot. Although some contended that Fox wouldn’t be in a rush to find a new director, star Hugh Jackman insisted he and the studio were committed to the follow-up to 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
“We’re not going to settle,” Jackman said in late March. “We’re going to find a director as good as Darren, if not better. Well, as good. Everyone is still pushing forward to getting it done.”
Opinions will undoubtedly differ as to whether Mangold is as good as Aronofsky, but his resume is certainly impressive and diverse, ranging from the musical biography Walk the Line and the Western 3:10 to Yuma to the crime drama Cop Land and the action comedy Knight and Day.
Written by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie), The Wolverine is based, in part, on the 1982 Wolverine miniseries by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, and has Logan battling ninjas and the politics of the Tokyo criminal underworld for the heart of his ex-lover, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord.