Darren Aronofsky Drops Out of The Wolverine

Well that didn’t take long. Just a few months after signing on to direct a Wolverine sequel for 20th Century Fox, director Darren Aronofsky has now left the project. This is becoming a bit of a trend for him, although his departure does not appear to be a result of creative differences or a bad relationship with Fox. He simply was not ready to commit the amount of time required to shoot a massive tentpole movie like this away from his family. The news comes as a big disappointment for fans who were hoping he could actually rectify the many problems that plagued the previous film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Aronofsky had this to say:

“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.”

As you would expect, the majority of the film is being shot on location in Japan. It does seem a bit odd however, that he wouldn’t have realized this before committing to the project, since the Japan storyline was established long before he signed on. This makes the third major studio blockbuster that Aronofsky has walked away from for one reason or another. Years ago he was attached to direct Batman: Year One for Warner Brothers, and more recently a Robocop reboot for MGM. Apparently he just isn’t meant to work on big budget blockbusters. The good news is, we will probably get to see Machine Man on the big screen that much sooner. Are you upset by this news? Is there another director out there who could generate the same excitement for a Wolverine sequel?

  • projectgenesis

    At first when I heard the news he was directing, I threw up a little in my mouth. But as time went on I sort of came to peace with it so I have mixed feelings. I don’t care who directs it as long as it doesn’t have Bourne-Fu and edits every second.

  • Aronofsky leaves Batman, Aronofsky leaves Robocop, Aronofsky leaves Wolverine. Damn it Darren, stop getting my hopes up!

  • Matt

    Get Wes Anderson to direct and be done with it.

  • Jurassicalien

    Disappointing. Just gotta hope for no jobbers.

  • You’d have to think that a jobber might end up getting it, if only because of time restraints. Production was expected to start in April for a 2012 release, so if Fox plans on keeping their summer release (and I expect they do) we most likely won’t be getting an Aronofsky calibre director.

    I also find it a little strange that Aronofsky didn’t know what he was signing up for. This isn’t one of his low budget indies, it’s a tentpole flick and those usually require a lot of time and work.

  • Juan


  • projectgenesis

    I think this has more to do with either the tsunami in Japan or problems he had with the studio (Tom Rothman) more than ‘wanting to be with his family’

  • I wonder if this has anything to do with the success of BLACK SWAN. I can’t remember the timeline of this off the top of my head, but it seems as if he signed on to this before BLACK SWAN became such a financial success. With BLACK SWAN doing so well, perhaps this gives him the opportunity to work on his own projects and he doesn’t have to do something like WOLVERINE.

  • Ghawk

    The Wolverine is dead to me now. DEAD. Not really interested in another Gavin Hood-esque shit show.

  • Liney

    I may mis-remember, but when you originally announced that he was directing Wolverine on the podcast, didn’t Greg confidently proclaim, “It won’t happen”. Props to Greg!

  • Faggymcbitchtits

    Good for him.

  • Captain N

    I knew Aronofsky would never make a Wolverine movie. It just wasn’t going to happen. And I am willing to bet the whole “I didn’t know I’d spend nearly a year out of country” is pure bullshit. He knew damn well what the film entailed. I’m betting FOX wouldn’t let Aronofsky make the film he wanted to make, so instead of fighting over it they decided to just mutually split on the project.

  • Napalm

    This sucks so bad! He was PERFECT for this! Now all my hopes and anticipation for this movie have died out. I guess in the back of my mind I always felt that this was too good to be true to begin with. But oh well. Sad sad shit.

  • This is why Nolan is a better filmmaker then Aronofsky, he can do his movies and blockbusters.

  • Nolan’s never made a film with Fox, though.

  • The Man

    Take your family with you! I swear to god this is the lamest reason not to do a film. Maybe if they rewrote it to take place in NY he’d do it. I’m very disappointed if you can’t tell, yeah they’ll give it to a jobber.

  • Bas

    Spending a year at the shooting location seems unnecessary to me. Surely the location scout, set designer and art director could do all the preparation? It’s not like they will be filming non-stop for a year.

  • The explanation for his departure seems sketchy at best. Odds are Aronofsky and FOX didn’t see eye to eye on the film. You may remember that this is the same reason given for Matthew Vaughn’s departure on X-Men 3.


  • Gil

    I wouldn’t wanna die of radiation poisoning over a sequel to a shit film either.

  • If I remember this right, David Slade was just about to be signed as director when Aronofsky came on board. And now he signed on as director of the DAREDEVIL re-boot. He’s got to be pissed, or at least annoyed by this.

  • djangoscud

    Tom Tykwer, Rob Schrab, David Hayter, Antonia Bird, Tarsem Singh, Kathryn Bigelow.

  • Ryan Marlow

    It was too good to be true.

  • Jonny Ashley

    John Waters would be a good replacement

  • Falsk

    @rjdelight and @projectgenesis

    Agree that there’s more going on here than they’re letting on… I really hope the main reason isn’t the fear of nuclear problems in Japan… but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. Or just issues with people at the studio. Either way, I doubt it’s solely about his family…

  • Derek McFarland

    Wes Anderson? Why?…

    I’ve enjoyed his films, but really don’t picture him making Wolverine fans proud. Imma just hope that, that was a joke, and move on.

    As much as I like a lot of Darren’s films, I felt a bit like @projectgenesis. Don’t know if he’d be the right person to direct this type of film. If anything it should be given to someone that knows action adventure, and what people would like to see in a gritty marvel character. I think the down fall of the earlier Wolverine/X-Men films is the fact that the directors tend to candy coat the shit of of them. If this is to be a “true” Wolverine film, it should be violent as well as rough. Rated R if possible; like every version of The Punisher or Blade movies. They should offer the directors chair to directors like Stephen Norrington, David Twohy, or even
    Paul W.S. Anderson; especially if Darren himself, liked the script, that’s been written. Giving a good script to the right action director usually goes hand in hand.

  • Tell me again why they NEED to shoot this thing in Japan? Baz Luhrmann is shooting The Great Gatsby in Australia, and that story takes place in Long Island, NY.

  • Falsk

    Or, more importantly, why would the -whole- thing be shot there? Unless they’re getting some mad tax break, wouldn’t you only need to do exteriors there?

  • Nelson

    My initial reaction to this headline….”WHAT THE HELL!”


    More, later, after I actually read the article :p

  • Primal

    I’m pretty sure the studio execs probably wanted Aronofsky to insert a Wolverine signature attack move where he pirouettes like a tazmanian devil so they can capitalize on his Black Swan fame.

    Really though, I respect him for putting his family first. Why are people expecting he is doing it for other reasons? It’s kinda sad of you guys.

  • Werner

    Hugh Jackman should use this as an opportunity to start directing himself. Wolverine – The Musical. It sure would bring the ladies to the theater.

  • @Primal

    I think people are a little suspicious there might be something else going on because it’s a little strange for him to be leaving a month before filming was suppose to start. You’d think he’d be aware of the lengthy schedule a while ago.

  • Just saw this to, which indicates that Aronofsky left because he wanted final cut, FOX said no.


  • Primal


    I could totally buy-in that Fox didn’t want him to have control. That’s why I joked about it, but I don’t think this has to do with it being filmed in Japan or the potential dangers that could potential pose as being a major factor in his decision to leave.

  • Nelson

    I’m just very disappointed with this news. Depending on who they get to direct in Aronofsky’s place, that will determine if I even bother to see this when it first comes out or if I wait for everyone else to see it first and then make my decision.

    I have lost faith in many of these films because a lot of the time they want to make it PG-13, no matter what character the film is based on or what the story is supposed to be about, just for the sake of sales. This is a serious, hardcore, Marvel character, not a Disney feature film, why do they have to treat everything with kid gloves? Why don’t they smart up and realize that if they make a good film it will make a lot of money, regardless of the rating, if they put the effort into it.

    An “R” rating doesn’t necessarily spell doom for a movie.

    I am not saying this is specifically why Aronofsky is no longer on the movie, but I do have my suspicions. Obviously the guy knows what he’s doing, why can’t they just let him make a kick-ass movie and stay out of his way?

    Okay, MAYBE, he’s actually leaving due to family related issues, but I honestly don’t buy that. At the very least, anyone interested in this movie should take this information with a grain of salt and question it. The movie could still be great no matter who directs, who knows…

  • Captain N

    Nelson, simply put, FOX doesn’t care if Wolverine is a kick ass movie; they care that it makes money. They want the younger crowd to go see the film, it’ll make that much more money. They want it to be around 2 hours, so they can show it more throughout the day, so it can make that much more money.

    If the link provided about Aronofsky leaving because he wanted final cut is true, it’s not unsurprising. He was never going to get to make the film that he wanted to make. Plain and simple. Even Marvel wouldn’t allow this, There is just too much money at stake in regards to these properties.

    If people want to see an Aronofsky directed Wolverine film, perhaps it’s time that the fans demand this happen. Hugh Jackman seems to really want to please the fan community, and he has pull on this film. If the fans want to see this film, refuse to see it unless it’s Aronofsky’s Wolverine. And if FOX releases the film directed by someone else, band together and DON’T go see it. Hit FOX where it hurts, their wallet.

  • Mikey T

    Maybe Arnofsky realized it was going to be a shit sandwich and got out while the getting was good.

  • jay

    Lets remember darrens take on Batman..i don’t know if he’sbeing disrespectful or he didn’t know a thing about Batman, but talk about a crappy vision..so probably a good thing.