By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood November 18, 2010 at 9:19AM
Twentieth Century Fox Filmed Entertainment wants to be in business with Darren Aronofsky, whose heat has skyrocketed after Fox Searchlight's back-to-back Oscar contenders, The Wrestler and Black Swan, which follows up a successful fall film fest circuit with a December 3 opening.
The studio has signed a two year overall deal with the filmmaker, who is already prepping an installment of their X-Men franchise, The Wolverine with Hugh Jackman, who starred in one of Aronofsky's riskier ventures, The Fountain. Written by Oscar-winner Christopher McQuarrie, The Wolverine is scheduled to begin production in April next year.
Under the deal, Aronofsky's Protozoa Pictures will develop and produce films for both Twentieth Century Fox and Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Point is, Aronofsky finally has a chance to cash in as a director. He's been pushing tough projects up the hill for a long time now, and the last two films weren't easy (see my interview). Why not capitalize on your heat to make a little money and score a bigger budget? At Wednesday's Focus Features Oscar lunch for The Kids Are All Right, which took more than five years to make, writer-director Lisa Cholodenko admitted that she's looking at what Hollywood has to offer her in the way of scripts. "I'm open for business," she said, smiling.