In a shocking statement released Thursday, acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky has announced that he has quit the production of The Wolverine, 20th Century Fox's highly anticipated superhero sequel. In a joint statement released with Fox, the director told The Hollywood Reporter "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." He further stated, "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."
A Fox spokesperson said that the studio is "disappointed." The spokesperson also noted "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."
There has been no official statement on how Aronofsky's leaving will affect the shooting. According to the script being penned by Christopher McQuarrie of "The Usual Suspects" fame, the Marvel character would be facing an internal struggle between his animal instinct and his sense as a noble Samurai. The shooting was to take place overseas, including some parts in Japan, which has been ravaged by an earthquake and tsunami. There is also no word on how this will affect the film's release, which had been rumored for 2012.
A big question remaining for Hugh Jackman, who has been bulking up per Aronofsky's instructions on 6000 calorie a day diet, is whether he will have to keep the weight on. According to the Fox spokesperson, the studio and Jackman are both "committed to making 'The Wolverine.' We will regroup and move forward aggressively."
Who do you think should direct The Wolverine now?