The last time we had an update on Fox' shortlist for directors to helm the hitherto untitled first sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine it was down to two possible contenders: David Slade (30 Days of Night, Twilight: Eclipse) and Robert Schwentke (The Time Traveler's Wife, Red). Reports were that franchise star Hugh Jackman would have final say on the matter and was set to meet with both directors before making his decision. Well, it turns out that scenario didn't exactly pan out as planned.
It also turns out that Wolverine 2 isn't the only Marvel property that's currently undergoing changes over at Fox.
According to Deadline, Schwentke has removed himself from the competition. No specific reason is cited, though considering Vulture's initial update had it on good authority that Slade was a lock, Schwentke may have opted out just to save himself some anxiety and pursue other projects (he's apparently looking at an adaptation of Robert Ludlum's novel The Osterman Weekendas well as R.I.P.D.). However, even with Schwentke out of the picture, Wolvie 2 still isn't a lock for Slade given that Darren Aronofsky is reportedly now in the running as well.
Slade and Jackman did apparently meet over the weekend, but the studio and the star are also now interested in Aronofsky. One would think that the Requiem for a Dream director would have a bit of an edge considering he and Jackman previously collaborated together (and marvelously so, I think) on The Fountain, but Deadline are still tipping the competition in Slade's favor. Personally, I'd rather see Slade, who thanks to Twilight has proven experience dealing with a property with a carefully cultivated personality, make a superhero flick under the notoriously difficult oversight of Fox than Aronofsky. I'm all for the latter making a big budget tent pole film (I'm still bummed that his RoboCop film died at MGM), but just not on that particular franchise.
Wolverine isn't the only Marvel franchise at Fox whose fate is up in the air, however. The same report at Deadline also cites that previously-attached Deadpool director Robert Rodriguez's participation is now "tenuous" at best. Rodriguez is still interested in the film, which would spin off Ryan Reynolds' character from Wolverine into his own series, but the production dates of the newly announced Spy Kids 4 are currently too much of a conflict. If Fox can wait on Deadpool, however, then Rodriguez could take the reins, but there's no indication yet that is likely to be the case.
I have a funny feeling that if Deadpool does end up happening, it will be without both Rodriguez and Reynolds. Both have a ton of projects in their immediate pipelines, plus the latter now has The Green Lantern under his belt, so his desire be yet another superhero may not be as strong as it once was. That's just my gut reaction to this news, though. What do you think? Who do you want to see direct either Wolverine 2 or Deadpool?