Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Wolverine Claws Mangold

In mid-March, director Darren Aronofsky departed Fox sequel The Wolverine citing family issues, and his exit left myself and many others feeling angry at ourselves for daring to get our hopes up that the mutant's movie series may actually be on the right track after its disastrous last go. Still, this being a multimillion dollar franchise, you knew it wouldn't be long before the long arm of the claw eventually caught up with a replacement director, which it has in the form of James Mangold. This is good news. And while I'll grant that Mangold is no Aronofsky, his selection is still a welcome sign, along with the brilliant X-Men: First Class from a few weeks ago, that Fox is serious about restoring the lustre to this beleaguered brand.

While I can't speak for Mangold's Knight and Day from last summer, not having seen it, I can say that I enjoyed his Sly Stallone drama Cop Land in '97 quite a bit, and the 2007 remake of 3:10 To Yuma, starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, is probably one of the more underrated films of recent years. As always, my hope is that Mangold is able to bring more of the gritty, character stuff to bear and can avoid being subsumed by the usual Fox Franchise Tsunami. As far as I know, The Wolverine is still headed for summer 2012 berth, which doesn't give 'em a lot of time to put it together, but First Class came together under a similar crunch, and that turned out swimmingly. While this is still a wait-and-see, I'm definitely feeling better about this one than I was a few months ago.

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