For one brief, shining moment, we were going to have a brilliant filmmaker save Wolverine from the cinematic sewage plant that is Fox studios. Then Darren Aronofsky quit, and now they’re choosing who will take over.
Honestly, debating the merits of the following list is a joke: this is Fox, they’re getting the director they can push around. But here’s who they’re pretending to consider…and the fact that there are so many hacks on this list does not bode well:
Jose Padilha: esteemed Brazilian director, which sounds promising until you realize the director of the last Wolverine movie was also a respected foreign director.
Doug Liman: You know him from “The Bourne Identity”; made a bomb (“Jumper”) for Fox, which they never forgive.
Antoine Fuqua: Made “King Arthur”. Is a possibility since it’s not like “Brooklyn’s Finest” shook the world, but he can stand up for himself, and seems to want to step away from the action flicks.
Mark Romanek: Mostly makes pretentious music videos, and “One Hour Photo” was one of the worst movies of the last decade, although “Never Let Me Go” is supposed to be really good. Unlikely simply because he doesn’t have to take the gig if he doesn’t want it, he makes a movie every decade or so, and a movie always has to show what an artiste he is.
Justin Lin: Has been crapping out “Fast and Furious” movies and similar early summer theater filler for a decade. Was supposed to make “Terminator 5″; then Schwartzenegger’s personal life hit the tabloids. Unlikely just because he’s got other movies to make.
Gavin O’Connor: Makes sports movies. No, seriously. That’s his niche. His next movie features Tom Hardy (that’s Eames or Bane to you) beating the crap out of somebody in an MMA tournament. He would actually be acceptable.
James Mangold: Ugh, really, Fox? At least he can handle action sequences: “3:10 to Yuma” and “Knight and Day” showed that. But nobody who has made that many terrible movies (“Girl, Interrupted”, “Kate and Leopold”, “Identity”) should be allowed near this.
Gary Shore: He’s a commercial director. This is the guy getting the job, not because of any talent he may have, but because it will be his first film, and he will do what he is told if he wants to direct a second.
In short, Fox is looking for guys who deliver mid-budget crappy action movies, with a sprinkling of arty directors to get film nerds excited. None of the guys on this list are absolutely vile or terrible directors, but none of them are Aronofsky’s caliber either. Hell, most of them aren’t Bryan Singer’s caliber. Even “X-Men: First Class” at least got an experienced producer who likes superheroes.
In short, any hopes I had for “The Wolverine” are shot. Oh, well, it was fun while it lasted.
[ via the adamantium installers at SlashFilm ]