The search for a director for The Wolverine has come to a close as 20th Century Fox and James Mangold have come to a deal. The film has been in a state of limbo for a few months now since Darren Aronofsky dropped out just after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, leaving the production in an unusual state. Fox took a bit of a slower approach to getting someone on board, though quite a few names were bandied about. The feature is looking to get principal photography going in the fall with hopes of still making a 2012 summer release with the script by Christopher McQuarrie.
James Mangold may not be a household name for a lot of genre fans but he’s definitely the right kind of director to step into this feature. With some solid work behind him with films like Cop Land, Walk the Line and 3:10 to Yuma, he’s shown good use of character drama and tense action. His last film, Knight & Day, was pretty well savaged by critics but it was a big budget film clocking in just under $120 million and it made $262 million, so he’s no stranger to working with larger pieces, big stars and action scenes. Bringing that with the work he’s done before, tying it all up in Japanese culture, could be the right formula.