BREAKING: Darren Aronofsky has withdrawn from The Wolverine, 20th Century Fox’s sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It’s a surprising development for the Oscar-nominated Black Swan director, who has been meeting with Hugh Jackman and getting ready to start production. Deadline has heard that his withdrawal has to do with his breakup with actress Rachel Weisz, and custody issues involving their son. All but two weeks of the film will be shot in Japan (a few scenes are being shot in Canada). His withdrawal had nothing to do with the script, because I’m told that Chris McQuarrie delivered. Or even the current crisis in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami. Aronofsky simply couldn’t be out of the country that long. There hadn’t been a firm start date. There was once an intention to start in the spring, but the situation in Japan and Jackman’s Real Steel promotional schedule pushed things back a bit.
Fox just confirmed the development and issued a statement.
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.”