Official: Darren Aronofsky Directing "The Wolverine"

Quoting a Twentieth Century Fox press release, Deadline reports Darren Aronosfsky will direct the sequel to 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." Though it has been known that the director was taking on the project, the studio made no official word until now.

According to the press release, "'Darren's vision has brought audiences some of the most original and memorable stories and characters in recent motion picture history,' said Fox Searchlight heads, Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley. 'We at Fox witnessed this first hand with his work on 'The Wrestler,' and 'Black Swan,' and now, on 'The Wolverine', which will be an exciting take on that iconic figure and on the genre itself. We can't wait to see what else Darren has in store for us.'"

The film will not be star Hugh Jackman's first work for the director. The two collaborated on 2006's "The Fountain" after original star Brad Pitt dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Jackman has been talking a "Wolverine" sequel almost from the moment the first "Origins" film was released. As a producer on the "X-Men" spinoff series, he has input on the choice of director and was keen to get Aronofsky on board.

The film is expected to be based on the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller "Wolverine" limited series for 1982 which saw the character in Japan battling ninjas and yakuza types for the love of a woman. Jackman expressed interest in the story early in sequel talks and writer Christopher McQuarrie was brought on to develop the story.

Production is said to begin in April of 2011, but no official start date -- or release date -- has been set. Fox already has an "X-Men" film on its slate for next summer with "X-Men: First Class."

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