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Darren Aronofsky’s Wolverine film will not be a sequel

Director Darren Aronofsky (The Black Swan, The Wrestler) is currently busy preparing for the inevitable tide of promotion that will accompany his upcoming film Black Swan, due out on December 3, which stars Natalie Portman as a ballerina who begins to embrace her dark side, but he already seems to be making plans for his next film.

Mere weeks after officially accepting the job as the director for the Hugh Jackman franchise, Aronofsky seems to have a rough idea of where the series will be going, at least in tone. According the website hitflix.com, the first thing Aronofsky plans to do is distance his Wolverine film from the previous entry, claiming that the new movie will not be a traditional sequel, but rather a stand-alone story involving the character. The movie will also ditch the “X-Men Origins” moniker, and is tentatively being titled The Wolverine.

The website Commingsoon is reporting that many of the rumors that have been circling the project are true, and the next stop for Logan will be Japan.  The early details suggest that the film’s plot will be a loosely based adaptation of Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s character defining mini-series Wolverine, which transformed Wolverine from an interesting, albeit minor brawler character on the X-Men, into a samurai and a killer, who would then go on to be one of Marvel Comics’ most iconic creations.

Written by Christopher McQuarrie who wrote The Usual Suspects, The Wolverine is said to take Logan to Japan, where he falls in love with a Japanese woman who is engaged to another. In order to win her hand, Logan must fight off her sword-wielding family.

Aronofsky has claimed that he would like to see The Wolverine be an R-rated film, but that may be pushing it for a studio movie with a following of all ages—by comparison, X-Men Origins: Wolverine hit theaters with a PG-13 rating. But trying to separate The Wolverine from its predecessor may not be a bad thing. While generally praising Jackman’s performance, X-Men Origins: Wolverine received a brutal treatment from critics, receiving a 37-percent rating from Rottentomatoes.

No exact date has been given on a release for The Wolverine, but principal photography is set to being in Mach of 2011 in New York before heading to Japan.