Since Darren Aronofsky departed the comic book sequel earlier this year, 20th Century Fox’s The Wolverine has been without a director. Now, Variety claims to know the studio short list for directing candidates. The current options are said to be:
Jose Padilha (Elite Squad, the upcoming RoboCop reboot, the just-announced Tri-Border.)
Doug Liman (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Bourne Identity)
Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Brooklyn’s Finest)
Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo, Never Let Me Go)
Justin Lin (Fast Five, Better Luck Tomorrow)
Gavin O’Connor (Miracle, Pride and Glory)
James Mangold (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma)
Gary Shore (primarily television commercials)
Writer Christopher McQuarrie penned the script to The Wolverine, which is said to have a heavy focus on Japan. Leading man Hugh Jackman recently commented to ComingSoon.net about the project’s lack of a director and whether or not the film would still shoot in Japan following the tsunami-related crisis that the nation has been facing since earlier this year.
“We need to find another director and once we’ve found that, we’ll be able to know,” Jackman said, “It’s too early to call on Japan, I’m not sure where they’re at, so now we’re finding another director, but Fox is very anxious to make the movie and we’re moving ahead full steam to find another director.”
UPDATE: Bleeding Cool has uncovered an interesting connection between candidate Gary Shore and The Wolverine in the form of a short film entitled “Wolverine vs. the Hand,” released three months ago on the director’s Vimeo page.
As you can see in the player below, “Wolverine vs. the Hand” appears designed to showcase Shore’s talents specifically in the X-Men world and even ends with the title X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2. The short was likely a spec pitch and has no official connection to 20th Century Fox though, if Shore’s name has, indeed, made it this far, the studio is probably happy with what they see.