James Mangold IS Directing ‘The Wolverine!’

The 3:10 to Yuma director beats out the likes of Antoine Fuqua and Justin Lin for the coveted new prequel.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

To recap: Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky was directing The Wolverine, but now he's not. Then Fox nailed down a short list of new directors including James Mangold (Knight & Day), Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo), Justin Lin (Fast Five), Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), Gavin O'Connor (Warrior), Doug Liman (Jumper), Jose Padilha (Elite Squad) and Gary Shoe (commercials). Then we said that James Mangold was the best choice out of that group. Then Fox agreed with us. James Mangold will direct The Wolverine.

And yet, this victory feels bittersweet. Why?

To be honest, we're worried that what's happening with The Wolverine will be a repeat of what happened with X-Men III. The film was developed by one director, and then another came on at the last minute. Granted, this is a very different situation in that not only was the film being developed by a great director and being completed by another, also great director (as opposed to X-Men III being developed by Matthew Vaughn, brilliant, and finished by Brett Ratner, less so). But will Mangold have enough time to make the project his own or will this be just another work-for-hire project on which he will only be able to make a valiant effort?

On the upside, The Wolverine is still about Logan's days in Japan fighting ninjas, which was the story we always wanted to see anyway, so we're not giving up hope, just admittedly hedging our bets. Luckily, with those claws, we bet Wolverine's really quite good at hedging.

Crave Online will return with more The Wolverine news faster than you can say "Snikt"… 40 million times. (What? We said we're hedging our bets…!)