If you thought that the title X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a bit ungainly and that a sequel title was only going to be worse, you can set aside those fears. In an interview posted over at HitFix this weekend, director Darren Aronofsky has stated that his follow-up to the X-Men franchise prequel starring Hugh Jackman will simply be called The Wolverine.
Also of interest is the assertion that the new film won’t be a sequel to the first one so much as it will be a “one off” film. Is Twentieth Century Fox looking to turn the character into an episodic franchise film like the James Bond series? An interesting possibility.
We do know that the script is by Christopher McQuarrie and that it is rumored to be based on a comic-miniseries from 1982 that saw Wolverine falling in love with a married Japanese woman, leading to a battle with the many samurai in her family. Hopefully, this installment will avoid irritating hard core fans even more than X-Men 3: The Last Stand and the first Wolverine film did with many of its seemingly random cameos of popular X-Men comics characters.
Add in the fact that Aronofsky will once again be using his frequent cinematographer Matthew Libatique and I have to admit that both this film and the currently in production, 1960s set X-Men: First Class have me actually interested in seeing an X-Men film since Brett Ratner’s X-Men 3 and Gavin Hood’s first Wolverine film effectively killed any enthusiasm that I had for the franchise.
The Wolverine begins production next March with location shooting planned for both New York and Japan.