Darren Aronofsky No Longer Directing ‘The Wolverine’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 5:03 pm,

the wolverine hugh jackman darren aronofsky Darren Aronofsky No Longer Directing The Wolverine

Cue the groans from comic book movie fans everywhere: Acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) is no longer directing the Wolverine sequel, fittingly titled The Wolverine.

As much as I would like to tell you that this is simply a rumor, I’m afraid the news comes from Aronofsky himself, making it as official as official gets around these Interwebs.

This disappointing (for some fans crushing) news was announced today in a joint statement by Aronofsky and 20th Century Fox. Said Aronofsky:

“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.”

20th Century Fox is trying to cauterize this gaping wound (and any potential rabid speculation by fans) by re-stating a firm commitment to getting The Wolverine into production:

“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.”

Let’s not mince words here: this is a real shame. When it was announced that Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) was scripting Wolverine 2, fans were ecstatic: it seemed as though Fox had learned from the mistakes of X-Men Origins: Wolverine (of which there were MANY) and was committed to making a new film that truly explored the core themes of one of the most iconic and richly complex comic book characters of them all.

When it was announced that Aronofsky had signed on for The Wolverine, fan excitement went up to the roof (and nearly through it): it seemed as though comic book movie fans were going to see their beloved genre enter a new era – one in which Oscar-worthy visionaries would be handling the characters and stories that we love, hopefully yielding more sophisticated films in the vein of Chris Nolan’s Batman movies, which are equal parts art and entertainment.

Will David Slade ditch 'Daredevil' for 'The Wolverine'?

With this news that Aronofsky is no longer a part of the project, the studio and the fans will all be turning their attention toward the immediate future of The Wolverine – namely, which director will come in to replace Aronofsky. David Slade was up to direct Wolverine 2 at one point – ironically enough, Fox now wants him to helm a reboot of Daredevil. Will Slade ditch the devil to court The Wolverine? Maybe. Another knee-jerk choice fans will likely pitch is X-Men director Bryan Singer – unfortunately, Singer is currently busy making Jack the Giant Killer.

Along with director predictions, there will also be the usual conspiracy theories and rumors concerning Aronofsky’s departure. Don’t be surprised if you hear whispers that Aronofsky – an acclaimed arthouse auteur – couldn’t play nice with a controlling studio like Fox; in fact, don’t be surprised if you hear many different accusations about why Fox is at fault for this development…

Still, as bumming as this news is, The Wolverine still has a strong script, and a strong leading man (Hugh Jackman) carrying it forward. Heck, Jackman is so committed to making the film better than its predecessor that he’s even structuring his workout regiment around making the character’s build be more in line with the comic books. If you can’t believe in dedication like that, what can you believe in?

The Wolverine was slated to cut into theaters in the summer of 2012. No names of potential new directors has been floated yet, but expect that to change soon.

Source: 20th Century Fox

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  1. Actually , that reasoning sounds realistic to me.
    even if they get a good director fast ,
    Who knows what kind of logistical problems might present themselves after The Earthquake and The Tsunami ?

  2. Deadline is reprting that Aronskys recent breakup with Rachel Weisz
    Has led to a custody battle over their two kids .
    That seems to give Aronskys statement the rig of truth.
    Deadline is also saying that neither the script nor the Tsunami and Earthquake had anything to do with it .

  3. Deadline Is reporting That AronofskysRecent breakup with Rachel Weisz
    has led to a custody battle over their two kids.
    to me, that gives Aronofskys statement the ring of truth.
    Deadline also says that neither the script or the recent natural disasters in Japan had anything to do with it .

  4. Apparently, it was b/c the studio wanted control over the film: http://www.killerfilm.com/articles-2/read/the-real-reason-aronofsky-left-the-wolverine-67604

    • After The Fountain who can blame them?

      • But after Black Swan and The Wrester, I have to wonder just WTH they’re thinking.

  5. Give Aronofsky Daredevil

  6. I have to be honest,I’m not too surprised of this news,being that I never really imagined him directing something like this in the first place.

    • Ditto. Good news for me.
      He’s amazing, but not Wolverine amazing. Actually, films like this are beneath him IMHO.

  7. I’m actually glad Aronofsky left. Now he can make original films like Black Swan and The Wrestler. It’s Foxes loss anyway. They wanted creative control, but don’t realize Aronofsky was the one who made Black Swan such an amazing film.

    • I don’t know if it was just allot of things coming together wrong with the movie but, this is what went down with X-3 and that did not go well. His personal life is probably a big part of why he isn’t doing the movie if he is going through a divorce, that is not a fun deal for most folks.

      The overseas shooting could be an issue to having to be in court for his marriage problems, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami might be a stretch since I don’t know if they were going to be doing allot of shooting in Japan if any at all. They have shot most of these films in New Zealand, England and Canada due to the cost factors and if anything the Japanese natural disaster and on-going nuclear problems would cut that out totally.

      The differences with the studio sounds plausible just because of Fox’s record with these movies and other franchises in general. Also one has to consider that with Singer back in the fold and this movie being scripted by his Usual Suspect collaborator there might be some rumblings over this “new direction” he is trying to pursue via First Class.

      At this point getting someone who is an indie guy won’t work unless he is willing to play ball which means whoever didn’t have faith in Aronofsky will just be pulling another directors strings from the office.

      • The studio’s involvement makes a lot more sense than wanting to be closer to his family. Sure, I understand why he would want that, but it’s called a sound stage. He can easily make a set look/feel like Japan.


  9. Just because the first rumor is believed doesnt make it true.

  10. Bummer, man.

  11. Agreed .
    It is unfortunate.

  12. Oooooohhhh my gawd!

    This project is done now! I knew Darren would regret working with Fox, Rothman and Arad on a Marvel superhero film.

    Good for Darren to get the heck out before the crap hits the fan!

  13. Matthew Vaugh; did an awsome job of ‘Kick-ass’ and the new X-men movie looks great. Makes sense to get him to work on another X-men movie.

    • Nah. X-Men First Class doesn’t look like anything special.

  14. “most ionic and richly complex”

    I think you meant “iconic”.

    Sad news though.

  15. This isn’t just sad news, this is a damned travesty. I don’t want Vaughn or Singer to touch this stuff anyways, or anyone of their overrated ilk. I want something special. I want something dark and artistic the way Aronofsky would have made it. Too bad David Lynch doesn’t do action.

    I’d say give it to Matt Reeves (Let Me In), or one of Guillermo Del Toro’s foreign colleagues like Vincenzo Natali. Neill Blomkamp maybe? I don’t know. This sucks.

    • funny, i was just thinking the same thing….

  16. Its possible to shoot any location from a sound stage these days. I find this excuse, to be an excuse.

    Too bad as this could have been a great superhero film, now its just another film.

    • Oh and while we’re at it, lets get a guy who directed a twilight movie and a few other substandard pieces of crap to bring us a Daredevil reboot. I suppose the D man needs to be raped twice. God I hate Hollywood.

  17. Did someone say David Lynch??? Jesus, that’d be a train wreck. May as well ask Terry Gilliam to direct it. I don’t want to have a prerequisite art/screen degree just to wrap my head around whats going on in a comic book adaptation. Granted I understand and would greatly LOVE a director with actual vision and clout to be able to stand behind the finished product, there probably isn’t much hope for this to happen. I am glad to hear that Jackman is attempting to pack on some more pounds to make the role look more believable and I know the man can act, I just have this sinking feeling it’ll be another PG-13, throw everything at the wall that sticks, epic fail. Darren has that clout. He’d have been able to say “this is what is going to happen” and the execs would listen.
    I went into Wolverine: Origin’s with the understanding that it’d be a movie that shared some ideas based on some comics and still came out scratching my head. God thinking about that movie makes me feel like I’m reliving the horrific, bloody death of my favorite pet. With the traumatizing imagery of that movie still fresh in my mind it’ll be rough to consider giving the next attempt a go if they don’t get a director with Darren’s chops at the helm.
    Now that being said, if they could manage to shove Jackie Earl Haley into Sly Stalone’s 25 year old body they’d have Wolverine in the flesh.

    • Nah, Mel Gibson IS Wolverine in the flesh….

      • @frank castle, Actually not far from the truth. Mel Gibson WOULD have been Wolverine 15-20 years ago. He actually would have made a MUCH BETTER Wolverine than Hugh Jackman.

        • Well, if they ever make an ‘Old Man Logan’ movie…..

  18. Come on Jacki Chan. If they are going to do this in Japan, why not have a Asian director? The fight choreography would be awesome alone.

    • Actually now that you mention it, Korean directors either Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, Lady Vengeance) or Jee-woon Kim (Tale of Two Sisters, The Good, The Bad, & the Weird) would be incredibly interesting choices for Wolverine, and just might work. Also I should mention that I always thought David Fincher should try his hand at X-Men.

  19. Weren’t they shooting on location in Japan? Can’t say I blame him, what with the nuclear fallout and everything. Hardly surprising.

  20. LMAO! I called this.

    I knew Darren would regret getting involved with Fox, Rothman, Arad and Marvel in a superhero flick. They didn’t want to give him full control.

    Plus the tragedy in Japan had a hand in it as well. Good for Darren to get the heck out of this trainwreck film before the crap hits the fan.

    Now Brian Singer and or Matt Reeves to the rescue? Ugh!

    • Matt Reeves would make a darker movie more akin to what Aronofsky would do. “Let Me In” proves as much.

      I don’t really like Singer for superheroes.

  21. I wouldn’t be surprised if they relocated production.

  22. Mike fleming over at Deadline .com has more to say about it .
    In addition to the family issues already cited by Aronofsky,
    He apparently felt he no longer needed the gig because he is doing quite well financially after the success of Black Swan.
    Fleming also said the recent reports of Fox standing in the way of Aronofsky making the film that he wanted really had very little to do with his decision.

    • Wow, so is it he didn’t need the money anymore or he didn’t need the headache for what they were paying him. Spin it anyway you want I guess.

  23. The more problems Fox has with Marvel movies, the happier I am. I hate the fact that they have so many Marvel properties. I’m mostly mad at the fact that we will NEVER get a unified cinematic Marvel U because of the rights being all spread out. Not ever seeing Wolverine show up in an Avengers movie or fight the Hulk pisses me off. Not seeing Hank Pym & Reed Richard argue on screen about sub-atomic particles and the negative zone makes me mad. We’ll never see The Punisher and Daredevil team up in a movie. What a shame. ;(