Darren Aronofsky helming the “Wolverine” sequel?

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Is another innovative, high-profile filmmaker about to board a successful superhero franchise?

Shortly after it was revealed that “Watchmen” director Zack Snyder would helm a “Superman” film conceived and produced by Christopher Nolan (“The Dark Knight”), Vulture is now reporting that Darren Aronofsky “entered into negotiations” to direct a “Wolverine” sequel for 20th Century Fox.

Though Aronofsky has yet to attempt a mainstream blockbuster, the move makes sense when you consider the big picture. He collaborated with “Wolverine” star Hugh Jackman on the criminally underrated “The Fountain” in 2006, and the two reportedly have been looking for an opportunity to work together again. Aronofsky also is in the Fox fold, having helmed the Oscar-nominated “The Wrestler” and his current drama, “Black Swan,” for Fox Searchlight.

But it’s not set in stone. Vulture reports that Warner Bros. is prepared to offer Aronofsky “Tales From the Gangster Squad,” a period thriller that recently was offered to Ben Affleck (he passed).

It will be interesting to see which direction Aronofsky goes as “Black Swan” continues to generate Oscar buzz. Both potential projects on his radar seem larger in scope than the films Aronofsky has tried to date. And while I’m not thrilled about him taking over a sequel to a film that was born from an “X-Men” franchise that already has three installments, the story tapped for “Wolverine 2” – which has Logan engaged in a forbidden romance with a Japanese woman – is one of the most beloved from Wolvie’s comic archive and would produce plenty of rich material for Aronofsky to explore.

More on “Wolverine 2,” which is rumored to reach theaters in 2011, as it develops.

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