Darren Aronofsky Drops Out of THE WOLVERINE

     March 17, 2011


Darren Aronofsky has exited the director’s chair on The Wolverine.  The sequel to 2009′s X-Men Origins: Wolverine was supposed to see Logan taking what he does best (stabbing) to Japan.  Filming was rumored to begin this month for a 2012 release date.  However, Fox has now sent out a press release stating that Aronofsky didn’t want to spend a year out of the country and away from his family.  While the “spend more time with family” excuse usually is a smokescreen for behind-the-scenes machinations, Aronofsky recently divorced from Rachel Weisz and there may be a custody battle over their son.  Also, as you may have heard, there was recently a giant earthquake in Japan and now may not be the best time to shoot a movie there.

Hit the jump for the press release, which includes a statement from Aronofsky and from Fox.  I’ve also included my thoughts on Aronofsky leaving the project.

x-men_origins_wolverine_movie_image_hugh_jackman_01Here’s the press release

LOS ANGELES, CA (March 16, 2011)  Darren Aronofsky and Twentieth Century Fox today issued the following statements about the director’s involvement in the movie, “The Wolverine”:

Stated 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.”

Stated Twentieth Century Fox:  “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.”

The only reason I was even moderately interested in a Wolverine sequel was Aronofsky’s involvement.  Yes, there are other directors out there who could make an interesting movie, but it was clear that Aronofsky got the gig because of Jackman’s backing.  Since Fox now has to “regroup”, I’m betting that they’ll hire a journeyman director who will get the film in on time and on budget.  However, I can’t help but wonder how they’re going to handle the film’s Japanese setting.  Shooting in the country is out and will be for months (and it should be–what’s happening in Japan right now is far more important than any movie).  Will Fox build sets?  Will they re-write the script to change the locale?  It will probably be more interesting to see where the film goes from here than what finally ends up on screen.

  • Jake

    This is terrible news, please don’t let this movie suck….

    • ccomm1

      This has ruined my day. I have been excited for this movie (because of Darren Aronofsky) for a while now. Even if this is good, with Darren Aronofsky it had a chance at being something on par with the Dark Knight, which now will never happen

      • Jake

        I know man, it ruined mine too. I was like ‘finally there is gonna be a great wolverine movie’ and i was actually happy for Hugh Jackman because hes great in the role and deserves a great stand alone movie after all these years of playing him, last night i actually thought ‘it’s too good to be true, i bet he cancels it soon’ and then next day? it happens. Proper pissed me off.

      • corey

        i’m sad, so very sad now

  • Magnus

    Not bad news at all.
    Hopefully he can make something much more interesting instead.

    • BillMan

      I really hate these comments. All these huffy. elite-hipster mindsets that for whatever reason feel the need to dismiss any and every piece of popcorn entertainment as somehow being less forms of entertainment. “Hopefully, now Darren can use his talents on a more existential and intellectual piece of cinema…” oh you mean like all the other stuff his filmed? Yeah, im sure he isnt tired of taking everything so fucking seriously. he’s been itching to do a comic book property for years. If your an elitist douche bag, you should be thrilled that your favorite auteur is tackling a project he was passionate about. It’s like these dumbasses that complained about him taking on the gig in the fist place forgot about the fact that Darren thought about it, decided he wanted to do it, and knew that it was a good career move that would enable him to make whatever the fuck he wanted. and they still bitched. it doesnt matter though, cuz now the movie is going to suck.

      • Duffy

        Bill, calm down you psycho, magnus has a right to his opinion. I think you’re taking it way too personally. Yes, i am dissapointed that he has dropped out but i am sure his next project will be just as interesting. Most “popcorn entertain” is quite trite and shit, and i am by no means an elitist. You come off as a bit of a redneck in your rant.

  • Stinky

    “The only reason I was even moderately interested in a Wolverine sequel was Aronofsky’s involvement.”

    Totally agreed.

    Not worried about the location… it’s Hollywood, after all. Build Japan on a backlot. I don’t see people nitpicking the sets so long the action/story is passable, unlike the last Wolverine outing.

    I hope the studio goes balls out for the next director. This might get flamed, but I say give the chair to John Woo, Tony Scott or Michael Bay. Let them go off the deep end and make one big flaming scissor kick of madness.

    • Scared for Movies

      Stinky. Did you say Michael Bay and not expect to get flamed on. If Bay made Wolverine it would probably turn out a lot like the first one did. Woo is a little better but I always think about MI2 when his name comes up. I could see Scott doing a good job though. If I could choose anyone else I would pick Fincher, the Coen’s, Tarantino, or the Wachowski’s who made the 1st Matrix & were behind V for Vendetta.
      None of them would probably ever do it but I think you need a creative director to get this right. I’m disappointed but still I wish Aronofsky well.

      • Nick Hart

        the wachoskis directed all 3 matrix movies, not just the first one. i agree that this is very depressing news however, i really hope they go for a director with an interesting visual style and commitment to character rather than someone who just cares about special effects and explosions. the fact that arronofsky was involved at all makes me hopeful that they will pick someone at least somewhat competent though. its too bad david slade was hired for daredevil, as he was very close to getting the job before darren.

      • Scared for Movies

        That’s why I said the Wachowski’s who made the 1st one. They also made Speed Racer I just didn’t mention theie latest work.

      • Scared for Movies

        And do you drop David Slade’s name like it’s a good thing? That’s the David Slade who directed one of the Twilight’s right? 30 Days of Night was directed pretty well but Josh Hartnett & the crap ending ruined that movie.

      • Logic

        Michael Bay, David Slade, and the Wachowski siblings? *Shudders. Who’s next M Night Shenanigans?

        No … Just, NO.

  • Hiro

    Not the best time to shoot there?

    Well, Japan is a pretty big country. The earthquake didn’t demolish the entire country and they’ll rebuild everything soon.

    Japanese earthquake probably has nothing to do with his decision.

    • Wolstenholme

      Are you blind to the very possible impending nuclear threat going on…then again I guess meltdowns are for pussies…nice logic bro

  • MarsHottentot

    How about this: Don’t make another Wolverine movie.

    • Derick

      Fine by me =P

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  • Bigfiction

    This is a bummer. Hopefully, he will move on to Machine Man. That’s a rich story and I think Aronofsky can create an incredible modern myth around it. I’d like to know if he has been working alongside Max Barry as he fleshes out the online draft? Anybody know?

  • Mark

    Bryan Singer would be perfect. Create virtually entire cities with the current technology is not so complicated, I was never convinced Aronofsky as a director for Wolverine, all that has managed to do is almost kill Jackman with steroids for his crazy ideas to turn a tall, thin man in a monster short and stocky. He does not know that a real actor can look like anyone with his acting skills?

  • giovanni


  • Kai

    Well this sucks immensely. Aronofsky’s involvment with the film was the main reason I had all my attention focused on it. Hopefully they don’t fill the vacant chair with a “journeyman” director. ESPECIALLY after the shitacular, “Origins”.

  • T_Toughnuts

    I am not trolling here, but thank god. I find arnofsky to be a director that just makes me feel gross when I leave the theater. Be it girls doing depraved sexual acts for drugs, drugged out people violently getting their arm cut off at a hospital (without being sedated and with blood spurting everywhere), a ballerina that is crazy and cuts her nails off…it just leaves me with a gross feeling. I may be in the minority, but I don’t want that out of my wolverine movie. I want it to be bloody and vicious, but not gross…I don’t care to see wolverine with a drug/alcohol problem or something. I want to see him killing people in comic book fashion.

  • Max Power

    I’m disappointed Aronofsky has decided to leave this project, his vision could have made Wolverine really good. I hope we don’t get some C grade director just to get a quick payday on this. Unfortunately I smell McG…ugh.

    Let’s hope they step up to the plate and throw everyone off and get someone with something new to offer. Not sure if he has chops to be a director or not but Jonathan Nolan may be worth talking to.

    • Matt Mc

      You know that’s not a terrible idea. I think Johnathan could do it. I mean it’s already pretty evident that he has great vision in how films are supposed to be told, and is an amazing story teller. Maybe just maybe the folks upstairs at fox could see his potential, and if anything else bank on the fact that he is a Nolan and you it as name recognition to get peoples’ attention.

  • Alan Smithee

    That’s the sound of my dream of a worthy Wolverine movie being crushed. If Aronofsky is out then so am I.

  • ti

    Fuck this. I was only delaying my suicide for this film. See you all later

    • Strong Enough


    • Shawn

      I’m right behind you Ti. Typing this with the right,keyboard in left,noose on,standing on chair.Darren,reconsider……everything is so depressing right now in reality abroad.Don’t take this escape away from us please eeeee, foots slippingfgg..ljkjhioe7589
      b ‘gawfhm

  • M Furubu

    I was really looking forward to a real director with a unique vision tackling a superhero flick. And don’t start replying to this post that Burton, Favreau, Raimi or Singer have artistic merit. Nolan and maybe Snyder are close but not nearly as cerebral or talented as Arronofsky. Here is a list of hopefuls:
    -Anton Corbijn
    -Vincent Gallo
    -PT Anderson


    This extremely talented a$$hole drops out of everything that would end up being awesome had he been involved.. first the Robocop reboot and now this.

    Stop teasing us Aronofsky. Now its just getting annoying.


    D.A. is one of my favorite directors, however I somewhat happy he has dropped out of the project. Though, his version would have been curiously interesting, I don’t think this was a film for him. I can’t think of anyone who could possibly do it off hand (except maybe the Hughes brothers, that would be interesting) so I’ll just have to see. I do think it needs to be an action director with a particular vision and who can do action. Maybe the director of DISTRICT 9, would be good.

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  • Rockslide

    I’m sure the real reason he left is that Fox insisted that Wolverine be able to fly in this sequel along with shoot lasers out of his eyes and have a sidekick named The Weasel. They probably also wanted to include Jubilee, Nightcrawler, the Flash, and Dr. Pepper. When Fox was told that one of those belonged to WB and another was a soda, they replied that Ratner could do it and for half the cost.

    • DocImpossible

      That was brilliant. Nice job

    • skliz


  • The.Watcher

    …aaaaaand there goes any interest I had in that movie.

  • Angmal

    Didn’t Clint Eastwood shoot his Japanese-set films in Iceland? So I guess a combination of European and Canadian locations with a bit of digital work would serve as an adequate replacement.

    As director, I’d say get Singer back. But he’s just about to shoot another movie and won’t be free for a year so, as they want to get this going soon, I guess that rules him out.

    If the studio is happy with First Class, what about Matthew Vaughn? He’ll be done with FC by the summer, and is well-versed in the X-Men universe now. He could just jump from one to the other.

  • BigKasey

    Hey yall, Big Kasey here. Wow I can’t believe he dropped out. Fun fact: this is the same director as ‘A Requiem Dream’. I just saw the movie ‘Inception’ wow! what a great movie, hey they should get that director to make this one. Let me know what you think. Big Kasey over and out!

    • vishi theman

      ARE YOU KIDDING! please go o wikipedia and read his info then watch the dark knight, seriously!

      • BigKasey

        Oh haha I can’t believe he made that film too (as you can see I’m quiet the film buff, lol)! That movie was good, little too violent for my taste though. I watched “Wolverine Origin” yesterday and it was great! Why don’t they get that same director, he obviously knows what he’s doing. Gotta run!

    • wnb

      troll much?

      • Ja

        At least he’s a very talented troll. Also, the script sounds like it might be a winner, so maybe the movie’s got a shot of not following the tracks the first one laid down. I would love to see a young gun out to prove himself get the reigns. Like Blomkampf got with District 9. It is set in Japan… Is Kurosawa still alive?

        Akira Kurosawa to direct the Wolverine.

  • Reno

    At a Knicks game, I over heard Spike Lee say he was interested in directing an action franchise. I think putting Logan in urban environs in a situation that leads to Die Hard or Escape From New York scenerio would be entertaining. The last movie was unimaginative. I think Spike would do an awesome movie.

  • Ron

    I’d hire veteran director/cinematographer Peter Hyams (“Outland,” “2010,” “Timecop”), a proven director within the sci-fi genre who knows how to deliver hard-hitting, exciting films.

    • Angmal

      If we’re talking veterans, I’d say give it to John Carpenter. It’s about time he had a big budget to play with once more.

    • Truth

      Is this a joke? Not one of those movies was any good. Then the other guy suggest John Carpenter? Dude’s so out of the game, it’s not even funny.

  • X-Raining Men

    But Hugh Jackman’s all roided up and ready to go!!!

  • balehead007

    They should get slade to decommit from daredevil and jump on the wolverine…its all within marvel/ 20th century fox i believe or do both

    • Scared for Movies

      Why do multiple people keep bringing up David Slade. His last movie was a Twilight movie!!! And 30 Days of Night was far from being a great film. I just don’t understand why he keeps getting mentioned. There are far more creative and worthy directors out there I just hope the studio keeps their uncreative money grubbing hands away from this project. If not we will most likely get another X-Men 3, Wolverine Origins, Spiderman 3, or Iron Man 2. And don’t tell me I’m being too hard on IM2. In comparison to the 1st it’s crap. Tony at the party fighting with War machine was cheesy. Scarlet doing like 20 of the same twist flips was lame. And they wasted two very talented actors as the villains. What worries me is in the preview from Thor it looks like he is fighting an enemy similar to the ones fought at the end of both Iron Man 1 & 2. But Green Lantern looks great…oh wait a minute, Ryan Reynolds is playing himself again…this movie is going to suck.

    • Truth

      Since when did all these Twilight fangirls take interest in Wolverine?

  • balehead007

    Greengrass is available too…as long as bourne can play silver sammurai

  • Nay

    I think J.J. Abrams is a hot new director who may bring some creativity to this flick. Star Trek and MI.III were impressive as a newcomer…just my op…

  • Robbie

    I wonder if he’ll go back to Robocop now?

  • Masood

    oh my god! it ruined my mood……such a perfectly bad news in recent times of my life dude…..:( wen will the shooting continue and with whom????

  • Masood

    thats so bad…..:( it ruined my day……..

  • iamtryingtobelieve


    F**k this movie now.

  • Brett

    I’ll direct it, I’m a fan of the comics and have experience directing. Hugh give me a call I’ll make it the greatest Wolverine movie ever

  • sam

    first, he leaves Robocop…and i get pissed

    now, he leaves Wolverine…and i’m pissed

    what’s his problem with getting things done?

    remember how big The Fountain was gonna be originally with Brad Pitt and a HUGE budget?

    is this man cursed or just plain trouble?

  • Mathlol1

    Good. Leaves room for someone else to step in. I pray this movie is more than PG. DO some justice to Marvel and make it at the barrier of PG-13 and R. The whole X Men series started out ok for the first 2 and crashed for the last 2. Wolverine of all isn’t mean tto be portrayed like a sissy.

    Case and point: remember the flash back of his origin in X-Men 1? Fast forward. Look at the resultant nonsense dubbed X Men: Origins.

  • Tiffany

    Dam every one is putting the movie down before it even comes out. How about every body stop judging what the movie will be and wait to see how it turns out. Huge Jackman himself is a dam good actor. Whom ever director they choose can pull this movie together and bring it go life. Just because he left as director doesn’t mean the movie is going to automatically suck. You never know what type of great creative minds are out there. Who knows the new director may even amaze everyone here and make everyone eat their words.

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  • Ryan

    Its Wolverine for christ’s sake. Hugh Jackman should direct it himself. And it should be filmed entirely in the Fukishima reactor.

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