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“Wolverine 2” is gathering steam with Hugh Jackman interviewing two men for directional duties: David Slade and Robert Schwentke. Slade is believe to be the front runner.
Both directors have adapted graphic novels, with Slade making the vampire flick 30 Days of Night, while Schwentke’s upcoming film is the retired CIA agent thriller RED, which is one of the fall’s most anticipated films.
Slade’s previous work includes the hardcore psychological thriller Hard Candy which starred Ellen Page and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which is considered the best of the Twilight films thus far. He was also on the shortlist of directors for X-Men: First Class, which instead went to Matthew Vaughn. Schwentke’s Hollywood films are the thriller Flightplan and romance The Time Traveler’s Wife. Both men are respected directors and show Jackman’s desire proper directors, not just run-of-the-mill action directors, for his series.
However, Gavin Hood was recruited to direct X-Men Origins: Wolverine after impressing with the Academy Award winning film
Tsotsi. His tenure in the series was met with production problems and interference from studio head Tom Rothman, who wanted to make a lighter action film instead of the darker film that Hood envisioned. Rothman has form for interfering in big budget projects such as X-Men: The Last Stand, I, Robot and Hitman, so his presence may put off any director of credible and creative independence.
Christopher McQuarrie of The Usual Suspects fame has written a screenplay, loosely based on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s story arc set in Japan. Producer Lauren Schuler-Donner has stated that the focus of the film will be on Wolverine’s relationship with Mariko, the daughter of a Japanese Crime Lord, which sees our hero battling gangsters and samurais: a mouth-watering prospect. Filming should begin in January 2011.