Marvel Comics superhero Wolverine may be headed to Japan for his next feature film, but director Darren Aronofsky won't be coming with him.
The "Black Swan" filmmaker today announced through a joint statement with 20th Century Fox posted on The Hollywood Reporter that he's bowed out as director of "The Wolverine" -Â the next planned prequel for the studio's X-Men franchise that was rumored to begin shooting this month.
"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 a joint statement with Fox
"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," he continued.
Though not officially greenlit by the studio, the next picture in the franchise was an almost certain lock with a well-received script by "Usual Suspects" writer Christopher McQuarrie based on the original "Wolverine" comic series by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, and multiple public statements from producer and star Jackman in support of the project.
Fox will continue with the project, saying in the statement: "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."
Stay tuned to CBR News and Spinoff Online for more on "The Wolverine" as it becomes available.