By The Playlist | The Playlist November 14, 2010 at 4:19AM
Aronofsky's Regular Cinematographer Matthew Libatique Will Lens Film
A few new details on the "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" sequel have emerged. Yes, we're still wrapping our heads (in disbelief) around the fact that Darren Aronofsky ("The Fountain," "The Wrestler") is going to be directing this thing, but we suppose that since he dabbled and flirted with adaptations of "Batman: Year One," "Watchmen" and "RoboCop," he would have eventually taken on a big tentpole like this one.
There is some hopeful news though. First off it's no longer called, "Wolverine 2." Instead it's now simply titled "The Wolverine," as Aronofsky revealed during press for "Black Swan" this weekend -- his excellent upcoming psychological ballet horror starring Natalie Portman -- when he also told HitFix encouragingly that the film would be a "one-off," suggesting it will live within its own universe, and won't be a sequel in any conventional sense or have to follow or adhere much to what came before in the awful, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."
This is all, frankly, very good news. 20th Century Fox basically butchered "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" and or at least, made Gavin Hood's version of the film even worse (poor guy's Hollywood career is over just as it began; so much for that Foreign Film Oscar). It sounds like Aronofsky agreed to do the film because he would -- knock on wood -- have free rein and would be able to tell a much darker, different story. This could be akin to Christopher Nolan rebooting "Batman Begins" and finally doing a comic-book character justice so fans and fanboys should be very optimistic.
And truthfully if all goes well, Aronofsky getting his way with Wolverine's story in Japan -- full of ninjas, samurais and a good love story to boot -- is almost too good to be true. More good fortune is recent news that Matthew Libatique, the cinematographer of "Black Swan," "Iron Man," "The Fountain," will also work on "The Wolverine" -- prepare for more behind-the-head, hand-held tracking shots than any comic book movie ever.
Yes, we openly resisted the idea of Aronofsky taking on "The Wolverine," mostly because we initially would have rather seen him take on projects that he had gestating like his Noah's Ark project, or the adaptation of non-fiction survival thriller "The Tiger" with Brad Pitt, or the highbrow literary adaptation "Serena" with Angelina Jolie, or most intriguingly, "Jackie," about Jackie Kennedy in the days following JFK's assassination, which would star Rachel Weisz (however, now that the couple have sadly split this could mean that project is now dead).
But now that it's here and in our faces, we've accepted it. In fact, with Libatique on board and "The Wolverine" sounding like it's going to be a Darren Aronofsky film, not a 20th Century Fox one, we're now greatly anticipating it - perhaps for 2012? We're looking forward to getting a first glimpse of the picture -- Pajiba recently put up what were called "spoilers" from the film, but the details were pulled by the studio and it's "rumored" that the Silver Samurai will be the main villain of the movie. Here's a tip though: just read the original "Wolverine" mini-series and you'll get all the details you need, as the film is based off that excellent Chris Claremont- and Frank Miller illustrated/co-written story.