Darren Aronofsky Says Goodbye to The Wolverine

by Anne Thompson
March 17, 2011 5:27 AM
4 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood

He is sad to go, but directing the latest X-Men installment, The Wolverine, for Twentieth Century Fox with Hugh Jackman would have kept Darren Aronofsky out of the country and away from family for too long.

In his statement, Aronofsky says:

"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.”

Fox adds:

“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.”

While it's possible that the strong, indie-minded director (whose previous Fox films were picked up and released by specialty subsidiary Searchlight) clashed creatively with an equally controlling studio, Aronofsky is dealing with sensitive custody issues surrounding his break-up with actress Rachel Weisz, reports Deadine. Shooting in Japan for too long would have been an issue. Matthew Vaughn is another indie director who bailed on the X-Men: The Last Stand iteration eventually directed by the more malleable Brett Ratner, who was eager to earn some action-movie cred. But Vaughn returned to the franchise, with more directing under his belt, to do X-Men: First Class, which has been filming for a year and is finally due this summer.

Wolverine was scheduled to start shooting next month for a 2012 release, but that will likely change. Who should take over? Variety posits one possibility:

One possible scenario would be for the re-emergence of David Slade, who was a contender to take the helm on "Wolverine," but lost out to Aronofsky. Slade was just announced as the director of Fox's "Daredevil" reboot, but could easily shift over.

Here's ThePlaylist's take.

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4 Comments

  • Remy | March 17, 2011 9:04 AMReply

    It always seemed like a strange match and although I'm not an "X-Men" fan, I was curious to find out what Aronofsky was going to do with it.

    However, coming off "Black Swan's" success, he may find it easier to receive funding for a more personal project, so there's that to look forward to. Either way, go Darren.

  • IndiePixar | March 17, 2011 7:03 AMReply

    I think the vast improvements Nolan brought to BATMAN show how much can be done when a great director takes on a superhero film. The stories are mythical and ripe for great filmmaking, if only the stigma of "trashy superhero movies" could be removed. This is a big setback for the genre and Wolverine, a great character who will never get a decent film.

  • Brian | March 17, 2011 6:18 AMReply

    No loss. Anybody can direct a trashy superhero movie. You don't need some indie arthouse director trying to gain blockbuster cred. I doubt I would have enjoyed TRANSFORMERS at all if someone like David Fincher or Paul Thomas Anderson had directed it. Michael Bay did just fine. The best comic book movie I've seen in the last decade was PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, directed by a female ex-kickboxer!

  • Donald Duck | March 17, 2011 5:46 AMReply

    Fear of Fukushima radiations, Darren?

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