It was a beautiful dream: Wolverine, a spinoff franchise that suffered a worse-than-lackluster start would get the creative resuscitation it desperately needed from Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler), a director whose dark intensity seemed ideal for a hero driven by rage and other primal forces. But alas, it’s not to be. 20th Century Fox and Aronofsky released a statement today announcing that Aronofsky has dropped out of the project, citing family concerns. Sayeth 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.”
It’s entirely reasonable to take Aronofsky at his word, given his recent split-up with longtime partner Rachel Weisz and potential custody questions over their young son. But if you want to speculate wildly about other reasons—like, say, the director’s insistence on shaving Hugh Jackman’s head and sticking him in a giant floating space bubble—you’re free to do so in the comments below.
Aronofsky’s ‘70s porn mustache could not be reached for comment.