Big opening weekend, a popular pre-established character and a movie with a teaser for a follow up at the end?  Yep, a second dose of "Wolverine" is on the way. 

Variety reports the obvious in noting Hugh Jackman and his producing partner John Palermo are already at work on what would be the Aussie's fifth go around as the self-healing mutant.  The next installment will focus on the popular samurai storyline introduced in the comic book series, whose Japanese locale was teased as a book end to the latest picture's end credits.  No screenwriter has been hired, nor is it clear whether director Gavin Hood will return. Considering the rumors of his difficulties helming "Wolverine," we'd suggest placing your bets on "no."

Jackman, who attached himself to "Ghostopolis" yesterday, has still not decided on his next live-action project.  He's said to be very interested in the Universal action picture "Drive."  That feature would find Jackman playing a solitary man who drives race cars by day and getaway cars by night in modern day Los Angeles.  Sounds like a "Fast and Furious" for the older set. 

Still in the cue is a remake of the musical "Carousel."  Said to be a Fox 2000 priority, the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic has a well liked new adaptation by David Magee and Palermo told the trade Anne Hathaway, who sang alongside Jackman in the opening number of the Oscars, would play the female lead, Julie Jordan.  However, negotiations have not begun yet with the popular Oscar nominated actress.

Additionally, 20th Century Fox has acquired the rights to "Personal Security," an original script that would find Jackman starring as a tough New York City detective forced into becoming a bodyguard for a spoiled teen heiress after she receives kidnapping threats. 

With all these projects in the works and almost ready to go, it's a good bet Jackman will not be able to return immediately as Oscar host in 2010.  Down the road?  Count on it.