You would think Darren Aronofsky is busy enough right now, with Black Swan heading toward theaters in December and the gig to direct Wolverine 2 still pending, but while he sews up that contract with Fox, he's signing on for something further down the road. THR reports that he will develop and direct Machine Man along with Black Swan co-writer Mark Heyman, who will help him adapt the manuscript by Max Barry for the screen.

Aronofsky is planning to make the film, described as an "amped up pop thriller," immediately after Wolverine 2, which eases that nagging worry that making a blockbuster would suck him into a soulless, big-budget void for years to come. Of course, Machine Man doesn't sound cheap, and actually might be scratching an itch Aronofsky has had since bailing on the Robocop remake. Here's the description as laid out in THR:

"The story centers on a gadget geek and engineer at a forward thinking tech firm who is tired of going through life average and unnoticed and is also obsessed with his own self improvement. He decides to replace his weak, fleshy parts with high-end titanium performance upgrades of his own design but then discovers other entities have designs on him for their own motives.

You can actually learn a whole lot more about Machine Man already-- in 2009 Barry made the full manuscript available online, one page at a time, at his website, with plans for the entire thing to be published in book form in 2011. The first page alone features the priceless line "Because while I was sad to lose my leg, now I could build a better one." Yeah, I see why Aronofsky is interested in this.

The one downside I can see to this is a concern that Aronofsky, trying to get Machine Man off the ground, won't be as available to help shape Wolverine 2, meaning it could turn into just as big a disaster as the first one. Hopefully he's smart enough to balance the two well, because if he jumped over to a superhero movie and it turned out terribly, that would be a heartbreaking waste of time for all of us. Clearly Aronofsky is the kind of filmmaker who thrives on keeping busy, but someone needs to make sure he's got room on his plate for it all.

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