"The Wolverine" no longer has a helmer attached to it. Darren Aronofsky, who was actually set to direct the film since late last year, has officially announced that he backs out of the project because it would keep him away from his family for a long time.
"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," the filmmaker, who has a 5-year-old son with ex-girlfriend Rachel Weisz, says in a joint statement with Fox released on March 17. "I was not comfortable being away from my family for that length of time."
Aronofsky, who has worked with Fox for "The Wrestler" and "Black Swan" in the past, continues, "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."
Fox echoes Aronofsky's regret, but they respect his decision, stating "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."
The studio adds, "Hugh Jackman and Fox both remain fully committed to making 'The Wolverine'. We will regroup and move forward aggressively."
There have been words that this "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" sequel will be shot in Japan as the story reportedly will be set in the country, which recently was hit by earthquake and tsunami. Jackman is set to reprise his role as Logan aka Wolverine, and he additionally will produce along with John Palermo and Lauren Shuler Donner.
No release date is set for the action film project which was reported to start production in April this year.