James Mangold To Direct 'The Wolverine'

by Gabe Toro
June 16, 2011 1:30 AM
7 Comments
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After a period where it looked as if Fox would take a mulligan on "The Wolverine" and bump the film to 2013 or beyond, it now looks like they've found their director. James Mangold, who has dabbled in various genres from musical biopic ("Walk The Line"), to western ("3:10 To Yuma") and horror ("Identity"), is prepared to take on his first comic book adaptation, and the announcement suggests he's the mutual pick from Fox and Hugh Jackman's camp. Mangold appears to be the top choice among an uninspired trio of potential helmers that included Antoine Fuqua and Gavin O'Connor, otherwise known as Guys You Employ When They Are Represented By The Same Agency As Someone You Want To Work With.

As we all know, Darren Aronofsky first got the gig, but a combination of family issues, worries about Japan's volatile environmental situation, a lack of control, "Black Swan" making him bankable, and probably finally watching "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" made him vacate the director's chair. Cue the drawing up of a wish list, which included names that probably turned down offers to direct the film (we know of one). All the while, you have to admire Jackman's dedication to the character, as he's remained committed to the adamantium-fueled mutant while rejecting overtures for other lucrative paydays.

Mangold last helmed the overlong and overwritten "Knight And Day," which, if anything, showed that he could do convincing large-scale action. While the film wasn't the smash that was anticipated, the ability to turn that troubled production into a watchable film with solid action sequences is commendable. However, we're not sure what a skill with heavily-rehearsed explosion-heavy moments will do for "The Wolverine" as the current incarnation of the project, written by Christopher McQuarrie, is said to utilize most of Aronofsky's intense, low-fi notes (and the budget, a rumored $90 million, is far below that of the standard blockbuster). We'll be optimistic regarding the script, but considering the unwatchability of the first film and the likelihood that half of Hollywood may have turned this project down, the gestating picture should still be approached with caution.

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7 Comments

  • Ryan | June 16, 2011 11:12 AMReply

    One word for Mangold: Heavy.

  • Glass | June 16, 2011 9:22 AMReply

    Mangold is good at rectifying moments of drama and action that are proven to work in other movies, and woodscrewing them all together to create something watchable but never engaging. I'm not surprised he's attached to this. Good for him.

  • carrie | June 16, 2011 8:36 AMReply

    except NIGHT&DAY;(very fun even if bad),his movies are good

  • Martin | June 16, 2011 7:49 AMReply

    Best choice from the bag, if he brings with him cinematographer Phedon Papamichael (great job in Knight and Day), it could be good....Yes i liked Knight a Day a lot, good fun and great action scenes

  • Glass | June 16, 2011 3:21 AMReply

    It remains to be seen whether Mangold is a director of true artistic merit or merely a director of star vehicles.

  • Abner | June 16, 2011 2:39 AMReply

    Knight and Day was less than two hours...

  • Mr Anonymous | June 16, 2011 2:17 AMReply

    I hope this doesn't turn into another Green Lantern i.e. dont know what to do with this!

    James Mangold doesn't scream confidence.

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