Over the weekend, as we were all busy breathing fresh air and watching unstoppable trains, Drew McWeeny at HitFix was chatting with Darren Aronofsky. 

Aronofsky is doing the Black Swan rounds, and naturally everyone is asking him about his relationship to one James “Logan” Howlett.  Are they having sake, or are they just friends? 

Naturally, the director isn’t saying that much. But he told McWeeny that the official title isn’t Wolverine 2, or X-Men Origins 2: Ronin Wolverine or whatever other hyphenated crap they could come up with.  It’s going to be The Wolverine.

Well, that’s certainly putting his own stamp on it.  I’m not sure I like it, though it’s a nice throwback to his Incredible Hulk debut, where he was billed as “the Wolverine.”

Aronofsky also said the film won’t be a sequel to the atrocious Origins film in the conventional sense. He emphasized that it was a “one-off.”    Could this be the way of Wolverine in the future? Just a series of standalone movies that send him to all four corners of the world? Because I could really get behind that. There’s a reason every Wolverine nerd looks to those Madripoor adventures as the high point of his oversold career, and it’s because he works best when he’s free of mythology and team loyalties. (I love him as part of the X-Men. But we’re unlikely to ever get the classic X-Men dynamic onscreen unless they do some massive retcons.)

Also on the “good news” scale: Aronofsky’s favorite cinematographer Matty Libatique will be lending his considerable skills to The Wolverine.  So even if this film manages to thwart the odds and be horrendous (say, someone else chops it up in editing or ties Aronofsky down creatively), it’s going to be eye poetry. At the very least, we can watch it without sound and love it.  Already, that’s more than you can say for Origins.