Posted on Monday, November 22nd, 2010 by Russ Fischer
The fact that auteur Darren Aronofsky will soon direct The Wolverine for Fox has caused some consternation amongst onlookers. (Not least from us and many of our readers.) Why would the man who has captivated audiences with challenging films like Requiem For a Dream, The Wrestler and Black Swan end up making a big studio superhero film?
Recalling that he was once intent on making a new version of manga samurai classic Lone Wolf and Cub might provide some illumination, since The Wolverine is a tale set in Japan that will focus, to some extent, on the intersection of honor and violence. It’s probably a reach to assume that this will be the film his Lone Wolf and Cub might have been — this is vastly different material and he’s now a different director than he was when planning that adaptation — but that’s one early way to get positive perspective on the project.
And now, while promoting Black Swan, Mr. Aronofsky has talked a bit about his reasons for taking the film. While his current optimism isn’t very surprising, some of his statements are quite reassuring.
For optimism, there’s this statement, made to Dave Poland:
I think I’m being hired because of who I am; I’m not being hired to turn into someone. I’m being hired to do what I do. I don’t know exactly if [Fox head Tom Rothman] knows what he’s bought, but we’re going to make something great.
And by way of deeper explanation, he said,
I’m just trying to have fun, and for the first time in my life…Every single film I’ve done so far, I’ve been the only person in the room who wants to make the movie,” he told David Poland. “And I kind of am excited about doing a film where actually everyone wants to make it — just to see what the experience is like and see if I can do what I do in that world. It’s not like I’m going to change my process. I’m going to be working with the same team and making…really trying to do something very, very different.
That’s an approach that isn’t difficult to understand — how much easier and different would the process be if he doesn’t have to fight every step of the way? I’ve always wondered how much of the confrontational edge in his films comes directly from that battle, and this movie might provide an answer.
And, just in case you’re still concerned that there will be any overt effort made to reconcile this film with the rather terrible X-Men Origins: Wolverine, take this to heart: “[The Wolverine is] a standalone piece that has nothing to do with anything in the whole franchise or in that universe.” And when Dave Poland says that some of Tom Rothman’s strategy in making tentpole films with certain directors has been gutsy, Aronofsky laughs. “He doesn’t even know how gutsy it is”
A gutsy hero film from Darren Aronofsky is something I think a lot of us would like to see. Could this be the film that finally honestly translates the character to the screen?