Darren Aronofsky Goes From Swans to Superheroes

Darren Aronofsky seems to enjoy keeping more than ballerinas on their toes. On the heels of directing Natalie Portman to a Golden Globe for Best Actress (which itself came on the heels of directing Mickey Rourke to a Best Actor Globe for "The Wrestler"), the director has decided to dive head first into the spandex-clad world of superheroes.

First came the head-scratching news that he would be directing a sort-of sequel to the sloppy, poorly-received X-Men spin-off movie "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." Called simply "The Wolverine," the film is rumored to be a stand-alone story involving Hugh Jackman's adamantium-clawed hero in Japan (culled from the character's many comic book adventures in the Land of the Rising Sun). But Aronofsky isn't stopping there.

In an interview with Clothes on Film, Aronofsky revealed that he has comic book plans that extend beyond Wolverine, some of which may be hitting comic shop shelves before they hit screens.

"We’re doing a comic book of a script that’s really hard to make and we’re going to do a comic version first and see what happens," Aronofsky tells Clothes on Film. "It seems like if you come up with an original script, in Hollywood it’s not as effective as a comic book. It doesn’t even have to be successful as a comic; I mean how successful were Kick-Ass or Scott Pilgrim? Those were fringe comics, right?"

"The Wolverine" isn't Aronofsky's first flirtation with costumed avengers. Several years ago, the director began developing a dramatic reboot of Batman that was eventually scrapped in favor of Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins." Those who claim to have read Aronofsky's Batman treatment describe it as even more stripped down, gritty, and realistic than Nolan's, featuring a "Batmobile" fashioned out of a Lincoln Continental, an orphaned Bruce Wayne living in an abandoned subway tunnel, and a kindly mechanic named "Big Al" taking the role traditionally held by Wayne's butler, Alfred.

Now the rumor mills are spinning about which script Aronofsky is referring to in the interview. Is it a completely original idea? His rumored take on Marvel Comics' Machine Man? Another shot at the Dark Knight? So far, he's not telling.

In the meantime, we await the first look at "The Wolverine." Given Aronofsky's love of body horror - witness Rourke's staple-ridden body or Portman's twisted bird legs - we have no idea what he'll do with a character who can instantly heal from any wound and who has large metal claws that rip through his knuckles.

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