Following the surprise departure of Darren Aronofsky from The Wolverine in mid-March, star Hugh Jackman insisted that he and Fox wouldn't settle for just any replacement, promising, “We’re going to find a director as good as Darren, if not better. Well, as good." David Slade and Duncan Jones were floated as potential candidates, with the Moon director even confirming a meeting with studio executives.
Since early April, though, there's been little chatter about Aronofsky's possible successor, leading some to suspect Fox was indeed in "no rush" to start production on the film. However, now Variety has rolled out what it contends is the studio's short list, eight contenders from diverse backgrounds, ranging from indie films to blockbusters to television commercials. Slade and Jones are nowhere to be seen, though.
- Antoine Fuqua -- Training Day, King Arthur, Shooter, Brooklyn's Finest
- Doug Liman -- Swingers, Go, The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith
- Justin Lin -- Fast & Furious, Fast Five, the proposed Terminator 5
- James Mangold -- Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma, Knight & Day
- Jose Padilha -- Elite Squad 1, Elite Squad 2
- Gavin O'Connor -- Pride and Glory, the upcoming Warrior
- Mark Romanek -- One Hour Photo, Never Let Me Go
- Gary Shore -- primarily commercials
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.