The whole idea was a mind-boggler for film and comic book fans alike: Darren Aronofsky, the Academy Award-nominated director of "Black Swan," teaming up with Hugh Jackman for the latest "Wolverine" movie? In a sea of derivative superhero movies, finally one that might really deliver something new and different. It seemed too good to be true.
And now it turns out that it actually was too good to be true.
Sheathe your claws, X-fans, because THR is reporting that Aronofsky has decided to drop out of "The Wolverine" over concerns regarding the film's rigorous shooting schedule, leaving the future of the production in doubt.
From the get go, the marriage between Aronofsky and "Wolverine" seemed a bit tenuous, based entirely on the director's desire to re-team with Jackman, who previously starred in Aronofsky's experimental sci-fi epic "The Fountain." As much as he loves working with Jackman, though, it appears Aronofsky loves his family more and would rather not spend an entire year away from them while filming "The Wolverine's" extensive samurai sequences on location in Japan.
"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 statement. "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."
So where does the production go from here? Well, if you listen to Fox, there's only one way for them to go: straight up, baby. "Hugh Jackman and Fox both remain fully committed to making 'The Wolverine,'" the studio said in a statement. "We will regroup and move forward aggressively."
Despite this assurance, however, and a subsequent tweet from the studio that they would be moving "onward," "The Wolverine" hasn't actually been given the greenlight yet and the loss of a director of Aronofsky's clout certainly can't help the film's cause.
The X-Men have survived a lot of hardship over the years, but for now it looks like Aronofsky may have done what even Magneto could never do -- kill "The Wolverine." Here's hoping that mutant healing power manages to pull him through one last time.