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Mark Romanek, one of eight directors rumored last month to be on Fox’s short list to replace Darren Aronofsky on The Wolverine, says he won’t be taking the job.
“That’s just one of those stories that floated around,” the Never Let Me Go director tells DigitalSpy. “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.”
The screenplay, by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie), is based in part, on the 1982 Wolverine miniseries by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, and has Logan battling ninjas and the politics of the Tokyo criminal underworld for the heart of his ex-lover, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord. Star Hugh Jackman has described the script as “fantastic — the best we’ve ever had.”
The follow-up to 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine was dealt twin setbacks in March by the surprise departure of Aronofsky and the earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan, where much of the film was to be shot. Although some contended that Fox wouldn’t be in a rush to replace Aronofsky, the list of potential successors that emerged in late May suggests otherwise.
With Romanek out the running, that presumably leaves Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Brooklyn’s Finest), Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith), Justin Lin (Fast & Furious, Fast Five), James Mangold (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma), Jose Padilha (Elite Squad 1, Elite Squad 2), Gavin O’Connor (Pride and Glory) and Gary Shore (primarily commercials). Of course, now that Paramount has put Liman’s space-heist film Luna on the fast track, it’s probably safe to cross his name off the list, too.