Fox choo-choo chooses 3:10 to Yuma director for Wolverine 2

Did you enjoy X-Men:First Class?  Ha! Fox tricked you! Their fluke enjoyable movie was all just a ruse to make another unwanted sequel to a rightfully forgotten franchise! Ever since Darren Aronofsky pretended to want to direct it for a few months and then went out for a pack of cigs and never came back, Wolverine 2 has been looking for a new daddy.  Now it seems they’ve found it in the form of James Mangold, whose filmography includes some solid flicks like 3:10 to Yuma and Copland, some overrated mehs like Girl Interrupted and Walk the Line, and some stinkers like Kate & Leopold and (*gulp*) Knight and Day. Deadline reports that Mangold is the first choice of both Hugh Jackman** (who apparently holds no grudges about Kate & Leopold) and 20th Century Fox.  So I guess you could say Hugh Jackman is digging for Man Gold.

Negotiations are about to get underway, but I’m told that Mangold will take the helming job on the sequel to the X-Men spinoff film, a post that became vacant when Darren Aronofsky dropped out of the film in March. I’d heard that Mangold was on a very short list coming into this week, along with Warrior director Gavin O’Connor and Brooklyn’s Finest helmer Antoine Fuqua. I’ve heard that Fox will look to start principal photography in the fall. Scripted by Christopher McQuarrie, The Wolverine takes place mostly in Japan. [Deadline]

With James Mangold directing Christopher McQuarrie, there’s a chance we could get Usual Suspects meets 3:10 to Yuma, but also a chance we get The Tourist meets Knight and Day.  Too early to tell, really.  But I’ll say this, I’m already off to a great start on my X-Men-themed gay porn parody, MAN GOLD: JackMan vs. Assbender.

**Does six-foot Hugh Jackman playing a superhero who’s supposed to be short cancel out elfin Tom Cruise playing a guy who’s supposed to be 6’5″?  Discuss.