Brian Hiatt
October 05, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The X-Men franchise may yet thrive without departed director Bryan Singer. Though no new director is in place for X-Men 3, Twentieth Century Fox has already turned its attention to a spin-off project, Wolverine, according to Variety. Screenwriter David Benioff (Troy) will pen the screenplay; Fox expects Hugh Jackman to star, though he has yet to sign on to the project.

Fox plans to simultaneously develop Wolverine and the third X-Men, but it’s not clear whether they would want Jackman to appear in both films. Singer left the franchise in July to helm a rival superhero project, the long-in-development Superman. He took most of the X2 team with him, from screenwriters Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris to composer John Ottman. Fox is no doubt hoping that Singer won’t cast Hugh Jackman as Superman.

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