Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky was set to direct The Wolverine with Hugh Jackman later this year, however it was announced today that Aronofsky would no longer be directing the movie.
In a statement the director said:
“As I talked more about the film with my collaborators at Fox, it became clear that the production of ‘The Wolverine’ would keep me out of the country for almost a year. I was not comfortable being away from my family for that length of time. I am sad that I won’t be able to see the project through, as it is a terrific script and I was very much looking forward to working with my friend, Hugh Jackman, again.”
I’m getting flashbacks to 2005 when Matthew Vaughn said a similar thing regarding X-Men 3. At the time is was a creative issue, but when Aronofsky signed on last year he was given final cut of the movie, so this personal reason for leaving may be true (but I guess we’ll find out more further down the line).
Update: “Deadline has heard that his withdrawal has to do with his breakup with actress Rachel Weisz, and custody issues involving their son.”
20th Century Fox said:
“While we are of course disappointed that Darren can’t do ‘The Wolverine’, we also understand and respect his reasons. Having done both ‘The Wrestler’ and ‘Black Swan’ with Darren, we know he is an extraordinary talent and we look forward to working with him on other projects in the future. Hugh Jackman and Fox both remain fully committed to making ‘The Wolverine’. We will regroup and move forward aggressively.”
I am disappointed by this news, as I’m sure many Wolverine and Aronofsky fans are. As an X-Men fan I didn’t really care for Wolverine (he hogged all the screentime in the trilogy), but after X-Men Origins: Wolverine the prospect of an Aronofsky-directed comic book movie sounded too good to pass up. Aronofsky has never dealt with a budget above $60 million, so it would have been interesting to see what he could do with $150 million.
The search for a new director will obviously now begin. Before Aronofsky become attached David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Hard Candy) was all but signed on, so he could potentially jump back on. However just a days ago we heard that he is being courted by 20th Century Fox for the Daredevil reboot.
The Wolverine, written by The Usual Suspects writer Christopher McQuarrie, takes Wolverine to Japan where he falls for a woman named Mariko, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord.