Aronofsky no longer directing Wolverine sequel

aronofsky no longer directing wolverine sequel cover artIt is a sad day for comic book fans. Of all the upcoming superhero-inspired films coming soon—and there are many—few piqued the interest of fans more than the possibility of Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream) directing The Wolverine, the sequel to 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The story was said to be based on Frank Miller’s Wolverine mini-series, which was a fairly dark look at the mutant superhero that redefined the character and propelled him to the front of the Marvel universe.

It was an odd pairing at first glance, but a good one. The film reteamed Aronofsky with Hugh Jackman for the second time, and the film was going to take a hardcore look at the mutant, as he battled samurai in Japan. But in a surprise move, according to a new press release from 20th Century Fox released earlier today, Aronofsky has officially stepped down from the film.

“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.” Aronofsky said in the press release. “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.”

The timing is extremely odd. Aronofsky originally began negotiating to direct the film back in October of last year, and filming was set to begin this month in New York, before moving over to Japan for the majority of the filming.

“While we are of course disappointed that Darren can’t do ‘The Wolverine’, we also understand and respect his reasons.” The Studio said. “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.”

It is hard not to wonder if there are more factors at work. The old “spending more time with the family” excuse is a classic, used by everyone from retiring athletes to disgraced politicians. Aronofsky knew the schedule of the film for nearly four months, but walked away from the film just days before shooting began.

To be fair, Aronofsky and his long-time girlfriend Rachel Weisz recently split, and they are sharing custody of their son in New York City, which can’t be an easy situation, but it is hard to not read more into this. Aronofsky is not exactly a mainstream director, which could have caused problems with the studio, who will no doubt want to avoid an R rating on the film to increase its potential box office yield. But there is also the timing with what is going on in Japan. More and more people are growing increasingly nervous regarding the potential of nuclear fallout, and Americans in Japan are being encouraged by the State Department to leave the country, while others are being urged to stay away to begin with. Again, it is just odd timing and all supposition.

Whatever the reason, Aronofsky is no longer attached to The Wolverine. The pre-production has begun, and the actors have been mostly contracted, so it seems likely that the studio will need to quickly make a decision to hire a new director or postpone the shooting. Whatever happens, and no matter how good the movie may be, it is a sad day for comic book fans everywhere.

Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

Brie Larson powers up in the latest 'Captain Marvel' trailer

Academy Award winner Brie Larson will play Captain Marvel in the upcoming Marvel Studios movie hitting theaters in March 2019. Here's everything we know about Marvel's first female-led superhero movie.
Movies & TV

Watch Jake Gyllenhaal realize he's not playing Spider-Man in 'Far From Home'

Despite some mystery surrounding Spider-Man's future after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters in July 2019. Here's everything we know about the movie so far.
Home Theater

Sling TV ramps up its base programming with Discovery Networks for free

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ wins one of the worst box-office weekends of 2018

Wreck-It Ralph sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet stayed on top of the weekend box office for the third week, winning what was one of the worst weekends for ticket sales in the US so far this year.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

The best Christmas TV episodes and specials

To help get you in the spirit of the season, we've compiled a list of the best Christmas TV episodes and specials. Whether it's free episodes on your favorite streaming service, or stop-motion classics, look no further.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ ‘Bumblebee,’ ‘Alita,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's the first trailer for Avengers: Endgame, as well as new trailers for Alita: Battle Angel and Bumblebee.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (December 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2, Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas, and more.
Movies & TV

'Stranger Things' season 3 teaser reveals the new episodes' titles

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season.
Home Theater

Stranger Things season 3 predictions: Decoding the episode titles

Netflix has revealed the episode titles for season 3 of Stranger Things, and the eight titles could shed light on what we can expect to see when the hit show returns in summer 2019.