Although Fox executives insist they and star Hugh Jackman "remain fully committed to making The Wolverine," the surprise departure last week of director Darren Aronofsky naturally leaves numerous questions about the film's future.
Entertainment Weekly casts some doubt on the studio's pledge that it "will regroup and move forward aggressively," quoting an anonymous source who says Fox is “in no rush” to find a replacement to kickstart production. That may be in large part, as EW and Deadline contend, because most of The Wolverine was set to be filmed in Japan for a story inspired by the 1982 miniseries by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. Following the devastating earthquake in that country, Deadline wonders, "is it even possible to schedule a blockbuster-sized budget film shoot in Japan?"
Superhero Hype, however, calls the EW report "incorrect," pointing to a "solid source" who "tells us that if the studio found a new director tomorrow, they could still start filming in July as was planned." (There's also the issue of Jackman's schedule: If Fox waits too long, it risks losing its star to other projects -- namely the Broadway musical Houdini.)
Deadline and others suggest David Slade, announced last Tuesday as the director of Fox's new Daredevil movie, might fit the bill. After all, he was a candidate for The Wolverine before Aronofsky got the job. What's more, this project already has a well-liked, completed script by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects), while Daredevil is still in the early planning stages.
It certainly an interesting suggestion -- one that Slade himself addressed (briefly) yesterday on Twitter.
"Wolverine, there have been no discussions about this project to date," he wrote. "Interesting to see what will happen with that as the again excellent script by Chris McQuarrie was set largely in Japan."