Hugh Jackman: 'The Wolverine' knocked back, but not dead -- EXCLUSIVE

Wolverine-jackman

Image Credit: Michael Muller

When Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky backed out of The Wolverine a little over a week ago, it left the promising comic book drama in the lurch.

Part of the anticipation for the film, in which Hugh Jackman’s X-Men character ventures to Japan and encounters a legion of samurai warriors, was having the provocative tendencies of Aronofsky channeled into a commercial action-adventure movie. Jackman himself has been bulking up, gorging on protein and working out to build muscle, in anticipation of the project’s start. Then Aronofsky said he could no longer commit to the project because the Japan shoot would interfere too much with his personal life.

Jackman says he’s not quitting now.

The actor was in Las Vegas for CinemaCon, the annual convention for theater owners, to reveal the first scenes of his upcoming robot-boxing drama Real Steel. (More on that film in an upcoming Inside Movies post.) After the presentation, he told EW that The Wolverine remains very much alive — he’s staying on board, and the script by The Usual Suspects screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie is still in play.

“So now we’re out looking for a director,” Jackman shrugged. “We were pretty much ready to go. The script is fantastic — the best we’ve ever had, which is why it attracted Darren in the first place. His personal situation precludes him from doing it now, and I feel for him. But now we need to find a director.”

Jackman wouldn’t cite any preference, but said the team is aiming for another prestige filmmaker, not just someone to yell “action” and “cut.”

“We’re not going to settle. We’re going to find a director as good as Darren, if not better. Well, as good,” Jackman said. “Everyone is still pushing forward to getting it done.”

The actor did acknowledge a little impatience, especially since he’s growing weary of his protein-powered, muscle-building diet. “I can’t be eating too many more chicken breasts,” he groaned.

Follow Anthony Breznican on Twitter (@Breznican) for more movie news, including updates from Hollywood’s many CinemaCon previews this week.

Read more:
‘The Wolverine': no short list of directors yet to replace Darren Aronofsky, says source
Darren Aronofsky no longer directing ‘The Wolverine’
How ‘The Wolverine’ director Darren Aronofsky got Hugh Jackman calling up The Rock


Comments (86 total) Add your comment
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  • Matt W

    Clint Eastwood needs to do this and bring all his badassness.

    • Rachael T

      You, my friend, are a genius!!

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        complimenting yourself on how much better you think YOUR output is than Eastwood’s!!!!

    • Doubt it

      And you two would be the only ones watching that POS if Eastwood directs…

      • ENRIQUE

        I WOULD WATCH IT ALSO!

      • gazmo

        Eastwood doing Wolverine would be BRILLIANT. And you, Doubt It, are free to stare into the toilet after your morning constitutional, complimenting yourself on how much better you think YOUR output is than Eastwood’s!!!!

    • xtalcat

      that would be cool, but would he be willing to do it?

    • DK

      I’m bowing down to you right now.

    • HD

      It is ridiculous how one man can be so sexy!

    • Leo

      If Clint Eastwood directed this it would be good dipped in awesome sauce.

      • PHD

        brillant IDEA!!!

    • hirolla74

      And Eastwood would do a version a la Man with No Name…and his name is Logan!

    • Bob

      Sorry, Eastwood is busy making his next movie, “J. Edgar” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Naomi Watts.

    • harry

      freaking awesome idea!!!!

    • Hugh Beaumont

      Keep the budget realistic. Does anyone seriously think Eastwood would do a comic book film when he’s offered Oscar-worthy projects? Get some kid-film director to do it. How about the Wimpy Kid director, that did well. Then add some second unit bloody fight scenes and post-production explosions for the forever teen (aka 30-years-old-but-still-riding-a-skateboard) crowd. Then sign up Hugh Jackman for 3 or 4 direct-to-DVD Wolverine animated features.

      • kremzeek!

        @hugh beaumont,nice name reference,but i don’t think that’d be the way to go.if a kid film director did it,it’d be advertised as “from the director of the friendly owl…”then parents would take their little kids to see it even though it’d be pg13 and without looking into the subject matter first then complain about the violence.

  • billbos

    cancel the whole thing – should have moth balled the script after they made that last abomination -Xmen- Wolverine – that would have been the worst action movie of the year if Transformers hadn’t come out.

    • Mike

      Worst action movie? Clearly you don’t know what action movies are. Transformers was an incredible action movie, but that’s about all it was.

      • thin

        Wolverine and Transformers *2* were the movies that came out the same year. The original Transformers was decent, but the sequel was a train wreck on every level. So yeah, if you throw in the qualifier that we’re just talking about big-budget action movies, I’m with billbos on this.

      • Tarc

        Transformers 2 was a total trainwreck – even on the simple “can it string a decent action sequence together level. It was a total visual mess. And as bad as the WO script was, at least it had coherent action sequences and a plot that made some sense. And Gambit.

    • Jamaaliver

      Agreed!!!!

      Those two were cinematic lowpoints of 2009. Terrible, terrible movies.

      I really wish Hugh would just walk away and start doing good movies again.

      • Dave

        I wish Hugh would do a Swordfish sequel….

    • billbos

      Yeah, I obv was referring to Transformers 2 – and although I felt totally burned by the crap that was that movie, I somehow have hope for the 3rd……godhelpme.

  • The Red Awesome

    I say get Alfonso Cuarón.

    • MDS

      I second this

    • A-lo

      That’s what I’ve been saying!

    • adam

      Ooh, that could be very interesting.

    • Blue Silver

      Damn good choice! I feel that Guillermo del Toro would also be freakin’ awesome in the director’s chair!!!!

    • hum

      brilliant idea

  • Robin

    “The script is fantastic — the best we’ve ever had”

    Yeah. You said that last time. I won’t get fooled again!

    • nick

      exactly. translation: “i get $40 million for wolverine and nothing else i do makes money.”

  • Jeff

    Hopefully they can fix the claws this time. Look at the picture, they look awful!

    • Webby

      There are claws in this picture?!?

    • Mike

      His hair is worse, he had Logans dew in the first one and slowly they went away from it till you get that stupid pompadour you see above.

  • reel_deal

    DAVID LYNCH SUPERHERO MOVIE that is all…

    • Robin

      Yeah, um. Considering how much he hated working on my beloved Dune in part because of the studio interference, I doubt this could ever happen.

      If Favreau thought the studios were too hard to deal with, there is no way Davey is going to direct this… sorry.

  • Kevin

    Unless you can get Fincher to replace Aronofsky, I no longer have any interest.

  • Jester

    Give it up people, Wolverine peaked in X2.. It’s all been downhill after that

    • Tarc

      Yeah, like that makes an sense at all…

  • dj

    two words – John Woo

    • cosmo

      no John Woo. I don’t want to see EVERYTHING in slo-mo.

      • D’s Advocate

        Zach Snyder has the market cornered on slo-mo these days.

      • hirolla74

        No way for John Woo. Too many slo mo! He might put Chow Yun Fat in there as a cameo…Ugh!

  • JC

    If it’s a samurai/yakuza crime story they gotta get Tikeshi Kitano to direct it!

  • billbos

    Good idiea dj.

  • cheapo

    Miike

    • Renaton

      Miike! Miike! Miike! Miike! That would be awesome!

  • Ryan

    Is this guy completely devoid of reality!!!! They should have trashed the script and BEGGED Darren to come back, even offered to shoot the film in his home town for his convenience is necessary. I mean literally BEGGED. The fact that they actually had the guy agree to do a SUPERHERO movie with his level of talent and LET HIM GO without the biggest fight of their lives means the carer of everyone involved, including Hugh, is over, simply on the logic that they don’t know the value of a great director and will continue producing crap from crap directors as they have been doing.

  • Fortune

    The real big news that i heard yesterday and it unfortunate news is that 20th Century/Fox will make sequels to the first 3 X-men movies. Which means we are gonna have a sequel to X-Men Last stand. Ugh.

    • Robin

      Then don’t go. I wasn’t bothered by part 3 nearly as much as part 1.

      Who is forcing you to watch X-Men movies? Do you want me to call the police for you, since you seem to be some sort of hostage…?

      • Tarc

        X-men (2000) was genius, and X-Men: The Last Stand was a disaster. What the heck?

    • Sith Lord J

      Yeah find a director that can delivery a PG13 Films and introduce more mutants from the Marvel Universe.

  • Robbie

    Either Jee-Woon Kim, Takashi Miike or Aronofsky’s cinematographer Matthew Labitique helm The Wolverine.

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