Considering that Darren Aronofsky opted not to direct The Wolverine because the studio wouldn't let him have control over the project, I can't imagine that it's been an easy time searching for a director to replace him. Sure, the opportunity to work on a major blockbuster would be great for a young director's career, but is it worth having your thoughts and ideas censored in the process? It may still be a while before the film actually gets made (the place where they plan to shoot, Japan, is still suffering from the effects of the T?hoku earthquake and tsunami), but Fox's search continues and has apparently been narrowed down to eight candidates.

Variety has apparently received a list of directors that the studio is considering to helm the X-Men sequel and, surprisingly, many of the names are recognizable. According to the site, Fox is currently looking at Jose Padilha (Elite Squad and the upcoming Robocop remake), Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith), Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Shooter), Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo, Never Let Me Go), Justin Lin (Fast & Furious, Fast Five), Gavin O’Connor (Pride and Glory, the upcoming Warrior) James Mangold (3:10 To Yuma, Knight and Day) and Gary Shore (the creator of this Wolverine fan trailer). The list is a fairly interesting mix of both independent filmmakers as well as those with established blockbuster records. Written by Usual Suspects scribe Christopher McQuarrie, the second X-Men Origins film will see Wolverine travel to Japan and train as a samurai.

I'm truly amazed by the pedigree of this list. Obviously just because they're on a list doesn't mean that they'll be willing to take the gig (we don't even know if they've been contacted yet), but after watching what happened with Aronofsky I can't imagine that too many filmmakers are ready to leap at the job. That said, X-Men: First Class, which is due out next week, has been getting some seriously good buzz and it could be just what Fox needs to get talent interested.

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