A few weeks ago, we reported on a shortlist of directors that Fox was considering to helm The Wolverine, the follow-up to 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. One of the best directors on that list (and my personal favorite) was Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go). Well today comes the unfortunate news that Romanek has passed on helming the flick. The director confirmed to Digital Spy (via The Playlist) that the material wasn’t quite up his alley, though he did give the Christopher McQuarrie script a semi-compliment:
“That’s just one of those stories that floated around. I was on their list, I received the script months ago. It didn’t seem like my kind of thing. That script was a terrific version of that kind of thing, but not something I felt really passionate about.”
While it’s disappointing that we won’t be seeing Romanek’s version of a superhero flick, I’m excited to see him do something he’s passionate about when he chooses his next project. Fox’s shortlist for Wolverine directors is rather low on depth, favoring more eye-candy friendly helmers (Fast Five‘s Justin Lin, Jumper‘s Doug Liman). After Romanek, my pick of the lot would be James Mangold. He’s proven himself dramatically (3:10 to Yuma) and he’s also shown he can stage fantastic action set-pieces (Knight and Day). The Wolverine stars Hugh Jackman, and is largely set in Japan.