Since the production would keep Darren Aronofsky out of the country and away from his family for a year, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the director will no longer be directing The Wolverine for Fox.

It’s up to industry people smarter than I am to figure out whether that’s a political answer or the honest one, but as a movie fan, this is incredibly bittersweet.

Aronofsky is a director with a vibrant vision and the brass buttons to make films the way he wants to make them, so seeing him dig his heels into the genre fare of comic book movies felt like seeing Andy Warhol paint a landscape. On the other hand, it would have been a challenge in and of itself to make something so broadly, commercially appealing while still taking chances (if Fox was set to allow him to take any).

Therein lies the question. Fox has worked with Aronofsky on several projects (including Black Swan), but this was a different weight class altogether. The budget would have no doubt been fairly large, it would determine the direction of the franchise, and it would need to be an event movie unlike Aronofsky has ever delivered. Tim Roth and company over at Fox aren’t well known for giving their directors freedom, especially when it comes to the super hero properties that have massive earnings potential. Family comes first, but there’s also the chance that this is more of a problem of creative differences than either party is letting on.

Either way, the most recognizable arthouse director won’t be handling the most famous of the X-Men. So who else should get a chance? Zack Snyder’s not too busy with the 3 movies he’s making is he? He is? Good. Because it’s time for someone else to do a few comic book films.

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