‘The Wolverine’ Director Shortlist Offers 7 Safe Choices and 1 Surprise

Variety has gotten its hands on the director shortlist for The Wolverine, and it, mostly, consists of fairly safe and obvious choices. But, like many of these lists, a great and head scratching question is posed: Does Hugh Jackman and company actually know what type of movie they want to make?

When a list of favored directors features the likes of Mark Romanek and the director of Tokyo Drift, it boggles the mind.

Here’s the apparent list of favored options that, per usual, you should take with a slight grain of salt:

Antoine Fuqua (Brooklyn’s Finest, Shooter, Training Day)

Jose Padilha (Elite Squad)

Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity)

Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go, One Hour Photo)

Justin Lin (Fast Five and the probably-not-going-to-happen Terminator 5)

Gavin O’Connor (Miracle and Pride and Glory(…))

James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma, Knight and Day, and Walk the Line)

Gary Shore (commercial filmmaker)

Unsurprisingly, Romanek is the only interesting seeming choice of the bunch. I have no idea how the director of Never Let Me Go would handle Wolverine kicking ass and taking names, but I would expect it to be far more ambitious and interesting than how most directors on this list would tackle it. James Mangold, Doug Liman, and Justin Lin are the most obvious picks.

It’d be a bit surprising if Fox went with Mangold, especially when Knight and Day didn’t perform gangbusters, but not badly, at the box office. As for Liman, his last experience at Fox wasn’t exactly a smooth one: Jumper. When it comes to Fuqua, he hasn’t had a good experience yet when it comes to big budget filmmaking. Both King Arthur and Tears of the Sun were not-so-good experiences for the man and neither performed too well.

Sadly, Duncan Jones is nowhere to be found on this list. Is one of the most promising directors working today still in the running? I hope so…

Who should get the job?