Image Credit: Michael Muller

Will The Wolverine be the biggest hit of the X-Men universe? We won't know till the film opens (reportedly in 2012) but it certainly might be our biggest Wolverine: Hugh Jackman tells EW that director Darren Aronofsky has already asked him to gain 25 lbs of muscle — "which is more than I ever have for the role" —  before filming begins next spring. "It's not easy for me," he says. "Because I'm actually quite long and lean." For advice he turned to none other than The Rock! "I had a chat with Dwayne Johnson, who did 25 pounds for his movie," Jackman says, referring to Johnson's latest, Faster. "I rang him up and was like, Okay, tell me what's going on." The answer: Six months, a pound a week, 6,000 calories a day which, Jackman points out, is an awful lot of chicken, steak, and brown rice.

Still, he's very excited about re-teaming with Darren Aronofsky (whose Black Swan is doing even better than expected in limited release), after previously working with him on 2006's The Fountain. "I love every one of his movies," he says. "He's a visionary. I've been trying to get Darren since X-Men 3, really. We've been talking about this and Wolverine for so long."

There aren't too many details yet about the film, which is to be a one-off rather than a traditional sequel. But, Jackman says, "we had a meeting about three weeks ago, catching up as friends more than anything, and he just ran a few ideas by me and my eyes just lit up, because already I think this is like a whole new ballgame — just the ideas, the level of depth, and intelligence, and creativity. I think he's been waiting so long to do a movie in this genre. When he found the script, he said this is it. It's really exciting."

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