Listen up Marvel! Listen up Fox! I want Louis Leterrier to direct ‘The Wolverine’!
With the departure of director, Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) from the project (due to the fact that he will be away from home for a year and doesn’t want to be away from family that long), Fox is regrouping to sign a new general to lead the Wolverine franchise to success. It is a huge loss to lose a director like Aronofsky (a guy I respect due to the fact that he chose family over career), but studios cannot cry about it forever. A new director must be named so that the project can move forward. The only thing certain is that Hugh Jackman will return as Logan AKA Wolverine.
The Direction: Let’s just get this out in the open. ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ was a hot mess. Director Gavin Hood bite more than he can chew and has scurried off to the world of television (AMC’s ‘Breakout Kings’). Hood will work at the big times again one of these days, but Wolverine is not it. The film was driven with a lack luster script and given to a director that concentrated more on visual effects versus story. Even at that, the special effects were less than spectacular. Unlike Bryan Singer who gave birth to Wolverine on the big screen and embraced both the humanity and animal nature in Logan, Hood just bastardized it. However, I can’t put all the blame on Hood. Writers David Benioff (now on ‘Game of Thrones’) and Skip Wood (now on Die Hard 5) didn’t produce a good enough script for Hood to direct. It seemed like it was the blind leading the blind. Now, there is new blood in the franchise and things can only get better. With Christopher McQuarrie (Usual Suspects, Jack the Giant Killer) and comic great, Frank Miller (300, Xerxes) on board to write, we already know the story will be solid and that makes for a great foundation for a film like Wolverine. All we need is a director that can bring the story to life.
Why Leterrier: 37 year old French director, Louis Leterrier is the man behind the first two installments in the ‘Transporter’ series, ‘The Incredible Hulk’ (starring Edward Norton), and the ‘Clash of the Titans’ remake. You can debate that Clash of the Titans was not that great, but I think Clash was not a good pairing for Leterrier. Leterrier’s comfort zone seems to stories set in the “real world” and he is able to capitalize on it like he did with Transporter and the beginning of Incredible Hulk. Leterrier is able to direct movies set in foreign countries by embracing its beauty and integrate it into the storyline. Transporter was set in the French Mediterranean coastline and the Incredible Hulk’s opening scenes took place in Rio de Janeiro. Considering The Wolverine will be about Logan’s journey in Japan, you need a director that can take that challenge and use his surroundings to amplify the visuals in the film. Location isn’t everything though. No matter what, the core of The Wolverine is that it is an action movie. Who better than the man that put Jason Statham on the map by featuring amazing martial arts choreography in the Transporter series. One of the few signature aspects that was missing in the third film that Leterrier didn’t have a part of. It is obvious that Wolverine’s mutant gifts and adamantium skeleton makes him bigger than life, but the core of Logan’s attack has always been hand to hand combat. Unlike many who has god-like powers like Magneto and Cyclops, Wolverine still needs his fists to attack. Considering Wolverine’s well-known origins and battle experience throughout his long life, the first Wolverine film did not do him justice. Hood’s take on Wolverine made him more like a rabid fool that swings his arm wildly hoping to hit something. That just isn’t Wolverine’s style. He is a trained killer that uses tactic and fighting skills to take down his opponent. With Leterrier’s experience in martial art based action films, he would be able to take Wolverine back to what he does best. Even with all Leterrier’s experience with action, he is not a director that would get lost in it. Leterrier has the ability to find a good balance between creating amazing action sequences and telling a great story. He is a director with a clear vision of what kind of film he wants to make.
With the sequel to Incredible Hulk (which received positive reviews from critics) on the back burner until after ‘The Avengers’ and the departure of Edward Norton from the franchise, Leterrier is not tied down to the series. Along with the fact that Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles) is now directing ‘Wrath of the Titans’, Leterrier is in need of a new gig. For a director of his caliber, it would be a waste for him to go through 2011 without a project. Lets put him on ‘The Wolverine’!
What do you think? Who would you want to direct ‘The Wolverine’?