Darren Aranofsky, the acclaimed director of Black Swan, quit the comic book reboot this morning.
After receiving an Oscar nod for Best Director for the Natalie Portman ballet drama, it must have felt like a step back having to direct a popcorn action flick. But Aranofsky said his decision to back out of directing The Wolverine was based on location and not artistic integrity. The film, still starring Hugh Jackman as the hirsute clawed gentleman, was supposed to start filming in Japan as early as this Spring - this was pre-earthquake - and Aranofsky said that he couldn't be away from his family for the scheduled year of shooting and post-production. To their credit, Fox respected Aranofsky's reasons for backing out and said they are still committed to the film. Fox just needs to find a talented director quickly.
"I was not comfortable being away from my family for that length of time," said Aranofsky, who lives in Brooklyn, NY. "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."
"While we are, of course, disappointed that Darren can't do The Wolverine, we also understand and respect his reasons," the statement from Fox read. "Hugh Jackman and Fox both remain fully committed to making The Wolverine. We will regroup and move forward aggressively."
The Wolverine was supposed to reboot (Is anyone else getting tired of that word/concept?) the Clawed One's storyline that veered off course in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The script follows Logan as he travels to Japan to train with a samurai warrior, and was widely regarded as being well-written by Usual Suspects scribe Christopher McQuarrie. Hopefully, another competent director is found soon so that Aranofsky's departure and the tragedy in Japan don't prevent this film from being made.
Who would be the ideal director for The Wolverine?