The recent announcement that Darren Aronofsky would most likely be taking over the next Wolverine sequel has led to some online handwringing over what it means for the iconoclastic director to be surrendering to the franchise factory with a sequel to a spin-off. (“Is it a waste of Aronofsky’s time, or a huge waste of Aronofsky’s time?” seems to be the general mood.) But like Christopher Nolan—and, to a lesser extent, Ang Lee—before him, it’s those exact auteur sensibilities that the studios are hoping Aronofsky will bring to his first comic-book film, and it’s what his former Fountain star Hugh Jackman promises he’ll deliver. Speaking to Vulture recently, Jackman said that the next Wolverine would not be a “usual” X-Men movie but rather one that’s “out of the box”—and also “the best one.” He then added:
“This is Wolverine. This is not Popeye. He’s kind of dark. But, you know, this is a change of pace. Chris McQuarrie, who wrote The Usual Suspects, has written the script, so that’ll give you a good clue. [Aronofsky’s] going to make it fantastic. There’s going to be some meat on the bones. There will be something to think about as you leave the theater, for sure.”
Stupid comic-book movies, always trying to make us think. Anyway, best of luck to Aronofsky as he tries to straddle the divide between cerebral and crowd-pleasing under the watch of Fox chief Tom Rothman, whose reputation for interfering with his directors—and whose track record for breaking them with demands that they be more "box-office friendly"—is already industry legend. Hope there's some meat left on those bones once they're finally propped up on the screen.