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Darren Aronofsky on why he didn't direct The Wolverine or Man of Steel

Mar. 31, 2014by: Alex Maidy

With Darren Aronofsky's NOAH proving that there is room to make an artistic film that is also a studio blockbuster, it makes one wonder about the other studio films the director almost helmed in recent years. More specifically, THE WOLVERINE and MAN OF STEEL. Both 2013 superhero films were at one point linked to Aronofsky in one capacity or another. THE WOLVERINE was much closer to happening while MAN OF STEEL was relegated to "numerous conversations" between Aronofsky and Christopher Nolan. But, now we are hearing from the director himself why neither film came to fruition.

First up, THE WOLVERINE. Now, Aronofsky was getting close to actually making the movie happen when a life event caused him to drop out. James Mangold stepped in and delivered a quality film as well as an announced sequel in a few years. So, why didn't Aronofsky helm it? His divorce from Rachel Weisz

"I loved the script and I thought the film came out great. I just had ... it was a hard time in my life," Aronofsky told MTV's Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. "It was complicated. I couldn't leave New York for that long an amount of time. And, to be honest, the possibility of NOAH had started to emerge, and here was something I'd been thinking about for years. I was really excited by that."

I think since Hugh Jackman and Aronofsky worked together on THE FOUNTAIN, they likely would have had a shorthand working together which could have amplified THE WOLVERINE a bit from what we did get. Mangold's film was good, but an Aronofsky version would have been amazing.

As for MAN OF STEEL, Aronofsky was shortlisted as a director but never quite got the final nod from Nolan or Warner Bros. But, Aronofsky did have good things to say about how MAN OF STEEL turned out.

"Superman's one of the holy grails. It's Superman. It's the best superhero," he said. "Batman is great, of course, but it's Superman. He's the same level. That possibility was great. I thought Zack was a great choice, and I loved his WATCHMEN movie," said Aronofsky. "I thought it was great. I thought that as a fan of the comic, you couldn't hope for a better interpretation. I liked the orthodoxy of it."

"It was interesting to add the pathos that they put into the character [in MAN OF STEEL]. It's a hard one to do. You look at what Christopher Reeve did, and it was perfect, because it captured that 'good old boy' thing. But to try and redo that again and bring that for a modern audience is tough in a post-'Batman' and 'Wolverine' world. It's hard to do that."

There is still room out there for a superhero movie from Darren Aronofsky. With DC opening their cinematic universe and Marvel adding new projects with each phase, the possibilities are pretty open if he would choose to go that route. Hopefully either studio decides that NOAH is enough proof to give Aronofsky a shot.

Source: MTV

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4:11PM on 04/01/2014
It's certainly refreshing to see a director remain humble and respectful after so many have done otherwise with backhanded compliments and such. I for one don't think the superhero genre is right for him, but I would have loved to have seen his take on Robocop.
It's certainly refreshing to see a director remain humble and respectful after so many have done otherwise with backhanded compliments and such. I for one don't think the superhero genre is right for him, but I would have loved to have seen his take on Robocop.
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1:24PM on 04/01/2014
He passed on RoboCop too. What would have done to that?
He passed on RoboCop too. What would have done to that?
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5:19PM on 04/01/2014
Based on the comments of the other projects, he probably would have said, "I loved the first Robocop film. I think I thought Jose Padilha was a great choice for the remake." And so forth...
Based on the comments of the other projects, he probably would have said, "I loved the first Robocop film. I think I thought Jose Padilha was a great choice for the remake." And so forth...
1:10PM on 04/01/2014
I think people just like to say the name "Aronofsky."
I think people just like to say the name "Aronofsky."
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+4
12:37PM on 04/01/2014

Aronofsky for...

OLD MAN LOGAN.

Called it.

That's what my vote is hoping towards.
OLD MAN LOGAN.

Called it.

That's what my vote is hoping towards.
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7:33AM on 04/01/2014
I'm glad he didn't do those movies. He belong to the crappy artsy thriller crowd. Stay away from the fun movies. He's the most pretentious director in the business after Wes Anderson of course.
I'm glad he didn't do those movies. He belong to the crappy artsy thriller crowd. Stay away from the fun movies. He's the most pretentious director in the business after Wes Anderson of course.
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10:41AM on 04/01/2014
Agree except Wes Anderson's movies are still fun
Agree except Wes Anderson's movies are still fun
-1
11:02PM on 03/31/2014

lol at arronfosky's comments.

"i didn't do the wolverine, but it turned out great!"

"i didn't do man of steel... um... watchmen was great! i mean, superman is hard to do i guess."
"i didn't do the wolverine, but it turned out great!"

"i didn't do man of steel... um... watchmen was great! i mean, superman is hard to do i guess."
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10:51PM on 03/31/2014
Aronofsky is easily one of the greatest filmakers of our time. I was happy with both Man of Steel and Wolverine that being said I would love to see Aronofsky tackle any genre of movie but most of all I would love to see him do a horror film. And he was to do a superhero movie I think it should be something all original and all new. Imagine a superhero movie crossed with something along the lines of Pi.
Aronofsky is easily one of the greatest filmakers of our time. I was happy with both Man of Steel and Wolverine that being said I would love to see Aronofsky tackle any genre of movie but most of all I would love to see him do a horror film. And he was to do a superhero movie I think it should be something all original and all new. Imagine a superhero movie crossed with something along the lines of Pi.
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1:08PM on 04/01/2014
You really think so? I'm checking out his imdb.com profile, and since 1991 he's made 10 films, four of which are shorts, none of which seem to really stand out to me. Black Swan was okay, but there doesn't seem to really be anything in Aronofsky's filmography to write home about.
You really think so? I'm checking out his imdb.com profile, and since 1991 he's made 10 films, four of which are shorts, none of which seem to really stand out to me. Black Swan was okay, but there doesn't seem to really be anything in Aronofsky's filmography to write home about.
10:29PM on 03/31/2014
I don't think people realize what a blessing it was that Aronofsky dropped out of The Wolverine. His vision would have been way too dark and gritty for the studios, which would have resulted in a troubled production and a badly-edited "too many cooks" sort of movie. Studios just aren't ready to embrace a truly gritty Logan yet. Mangold though, is a genius for incorporating just the right amount of violence and grit to a borderline, bleeding PG film. These directors keep tipping the scale more
I don't think people realize what a blessing it was that Aronofsky dropped out of The Wolverine. His vision would have been way too dark and gritty for the studios, which would have resulted in a troubled production and a badly-edited "too many cooks" sort of movie. Studios just aren't ready to embrace a truly gritty Logan yet. Mangold though, is a genius for incorporating just the right amount of violence and grit to a borderline, bleeding PG film. These directors keep tipping the scale more and more towards better storylines for superhero movies. Anyone seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier yet? It's good. This allows studios to be slowly introduced to the appeal of more complex characters with greater depth, instead of being exposed to them by surprise. Studio execs are generally out of touch with the audience and the slow approach is a much better method.
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9:30PM on 03/31/2014
He would have made a much better Wolverine film then a Superman film. I thought both films were great, but I would have loved to have seen his versions of each film. He's a great director and storyteller and have enjoyed each one of his films (including Noah) with The Fountain being my favorite of his and one of my all time favorites.

With so many superhero characters out there, there is still a big opportunity for him to direct a comic book film in the future. Maybe DC considers him for the
He would have made a much better Wolverine film then a Superman film. I thought both films were great, but I would have loved to have seen his versions of each film. He's a great director and storyteller and have enjoyed each one of his films (including Noah) with The Fountain being my favorite of his and one of my all time favorites.

With so many superhero characters out there, there is still a big opportunity for him to direct a comic book film in the future. Maybe DC considers him for the new Batman films or Lobo. Or maybe Marvel gives him a shot directing Doctor Strange.
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8:43PM on 03/31/2014

Give him Spawn

Seeing as his films tend to have religious themes I think Spawn would be a great fit for him.
Seeing as his films tend to have religious themes I think Spawn would be a great fit for him.
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9:07PM on 03/31/2014
Haha, yeah right, like a another Spawn movie will ever get made. He would be a great choice though, I'll give you that.
Haha, yeah right, like a another Spawn movie will ever get made. He would be a great choice though, I'll give you that.
7:48PM on 03/31/2014
Am I the only one that thinks Aronofsky is a bit over rated?
Am I the only one that thinks Aronofsky is a bit over rated?
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8:11PM on 03/31/2014
Fountain, Black Swan, Noah... Three strikes he's out. I just don't enjoy his films and wonder why I keep paying to see them.

Somewhere along the way critics decided movies needed to be artsy and pretentious instead of enjoyable
Fountain, Black Swan, Noah... Three strikes he's out. I just don't enjoy his films and wonder why I keep paying to see them.

Somewhere along the way critics decided movies needed to be artsy and pretentious instead of enjoyable
10:15PM on 03/31/2014
Jekkie, that's more on you, then. I can't remember a single movie he's made that has just been brainless fun. If you're not a fan of his style, why do you keep watching his movies?
Jekkie, that's more on you, then. I can't remember a single movie he's made that has just been brainless fun. If you're not a fan of his style, why do you keep watching his movies?
7:35AM on 04/01/2014
Jekkie...you're my new favorite person on this site.
Jekkie...you're my new favorite person on this site.
10:46AM on 04/01/2014
Well you see... Elessar... That's like telling a girl she got raped because of what she's wearing. "You were totally asking for it when you bought that ticket"

His trailers are really good, people tell you things like "you need to see it before you can judge it"

I went into Noah with the most open mind, and started to enjoy it, but by the third act it was the typical "why the hell am I watching this" "can't wait for the film students to tell me I didn't get what he was going for" etc
Well you see... Elessar... That's like telling a girl she got raped because of what she's wearing. "You were totally asking for it when you bought that ticket"

His trailers are really good, people tell you things like "you need to see it before you can judge it"

I went into Noah with the most open mind, and started to enjoy it, but by the third act it was the typical "why the hell am I watching this" "can't wait for the film students to tell me I didn't get what he was going for" etc
10:51AM on 04/01/2014
Also I'm not asking for brainless fun. Prestige or Inception from Nolan were artsy and intelligent and fun because of that. Aronofsky is artsy, but hardly intelligent.

My favorite moment in Black Swan the collective "ugh, here we go" from me and my friends when Natalie Postman's first lines in were all hushed "I had a dream last night" Oscar bait acting :-P
Also I'm not asking for brainless fun. Prestige or Inception from Nolan were artsy and intelligent and fun because of that. Aronofsky is artsy, but hardly intelligent.

My favorite moment in Black Swan the collective "ugh, here we go" from me and my friends when Natalie Postman's first lines in were all hushed "I had a dream last night" Oscar bait acting :-P
3:27PM on 04/01/2014
Sounds to me you already knew you didn't like Aronofsky as a director a while ago, so you buying a ticket to his movie is again your fault. And you buying a ticket to see it because of the opinions of others means you are swayed by peer pressure. Don't blame Aronofsky for you deciding to go against what you like.

Also, I'm seriously trying to wrap my head around the idea that you truly believe my telling you to stop watching a director you don't like is equal to someone telling a woman that
Sounds to me you already knew you didn't like Aronofsky as a director a while ago, so you buying a ticket to his movie is again your fault. And you buying a ticket to see it because of the opinions of others means you are swayed by peer pressure. Don't blame Aronofsky for you deciding to go against what you like.

Also, I'm seriously trying to wrap my head around the idea that you truly believe my telling you to stop watching a director you don't like is equal to someone telling a woman that she got raped because of her clothes. It's an argument that makes no sense... I will say this, though. You were asking for it.
9:50AM on 04/02/2014
No, you are not the only one. Many others make the same mistake.
No, you are not the only one. Many others make the same mistake.
7:25PM on 03/31/2014
DC might not beat Marvel in terms blockbuster movies. However, DC is brilliant when it comes to direct-to-dvd/blu ray animation. Also, Arrow turns out to be a successful show which shouldn't stop DC from exploring other possible TV shows. There are loads of good TV shows nowadays so TV could be a great medium for DC.
DC might not beat Marvel in terms blockbuster movies. However, DC is brilliant when it comes to direct-to-dvd/blu ray animation. Also, Arrow turns out to be a successful show which shouldn't stop DC from exploring other possible TV shows. There are loads of good TV shows nowadays so TV could be a great medium for DC.
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11:55PM on 03/31/2014
Um. What does this have to do with the above article?
Um. What does this have to do with the above article?
1:28AM on 04/01/2014
It was regarding the article when it said DC is opening their cinematic universe. I'm pretty sure DC is following Marvel in terms of blockbuster movies but DC already has its own advantage in terms of direct-to-DVD/Blu Ray or TV shows.
It was regarding the article when it said DC is opening their cinematic universe. I'm pretty sure DC is following Marvel in terms of blockbuster movies but DC already has its own advantage in terms of direct-to-DVD/Blu Ray or TV shows.
+2
7:05PM on 03/31/2014
I think he should do more mainstream films. He needs something big and blockbustery to sink his teeth into. I liked Noah. I didn't really expect to, but I thought it was well done. I think that Aronofsky's artistic merits and his ability to craft a certain darkness in his films would be a nice touch for a lot of material out there.
I think he should do more mainstream films. He needs something big and blockbustery to sink his teeth into. I liked Noah. I didn't really expect to, but I thought it was well done. I think that Aronofsky's artistic merits and his ability to craft a certain darkness in his films would be a nice touch for a lot of material out there.
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6:50PM on 03/31/2014
I think an Aronofsky superhero film could have end up like a success like Nolan's Batman Begins, or like Ang Lee's Hulk (which I still liked, but I feel like I'm in the minority on that). Either way, he gets the benefit of the doubt from me. I really think he could do interesting things with a Dr. Strange movie. At least moreso than Superman or Wolverine, where the public already has a set idea of the characters from prior films.
I think an Aronofsky superhero film could have end up like a success like Nolan's Batman Begins, or like Ang Lee's Hulk (which I still liked, but I feel like I'm in the minority on that). Either way, he gets the benefit of the doubt from me. I really think he could do interesting things with a Dr. Strange movie. At least moreso than Superman or Wolverine, where the public already has a set idea of the characters from prior films.
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6:43PM on 03/31/2014
He's definitely a gifted, unique filmmaker and a superhero film from him would be out of this world. The Wolverine was okay, but it just seemed quite conventional. It would have been more special in Aronofsky's hands.
He's definitely a gifted, unique filmmaker and a superhero film from him would be out of this world. The Wolverine was okay, but it just seemed quite conventional. It would have been more special in Aronofsky's hands.
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5:17PM on 03/31/2014
Whether I agree 10% or not with his opinion of Man of Steel or not...hell, I do, insofar as I liked elements of it, and he's not even saying it was anything next to Richard Donner's version. It was for a different time. I'm still disturbed by the mass destruction Superman let happen, but the elements of pathos were actually quite interesting.
Whether I agree 10% or not with his opinion of Man of Steel or not...hell, I do, insofar as I liked elements of it, and he's not even saying it was anything next to Richard Donner's version. It was for a different time. I'm still disturbed by the mass destruction Superman let happen, but the elements of pathos were actually quite interesting.
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5:22PM on 03/31/2014
I thought the same in regards to the mass destruction. But I came to a conclusion that maybe the mass destruction was purposely created for the story, which might be an intricate part for the sequel...
I thought the same in regards to the mass destruction. But I came to a conclusion that maybe the mass destruction was purposely created for the story, which might be an intricate part for the sequel...
8:12PM on 03/31/2014
I dont think superman just "let it happen"
I dont think superman just "let it happen"
10:44PM on 03/31/2014
He didn't just let the destruction happen. He was fighting multiple beings from his planet. These are beings that have powers and abilities that match his abilities and they don't care like, Clark does,what happens to the human race. Not to mention the fact that they were attempting to terraform our planet.
He didn't just let the destruction happen. He was fighting multiple beings from his planet. These are beings that have powers and abilities that match his abilities and they don't care like, Clark does,what happens to the human race. Not to mention the fact that they were attempting to terraform our planet.
-5
5:03PM on 03/31/2014

Man of Steel Good?

Aronofsky is a fantastic film maker and would have made a great Wolverine but he has to be lying through his teeth to protect reputation if he says Man of Steel was that great of a film, because it really wasn't anything more apart from being extremely average with what happened to be a great cast in my opinion and hasn't done anything for the legacy of Sups on the big screen.
Aronofsky is a fantastic film maker and would have made a great Wolverine but he has to be lying through his teeth to protect reputation if he says Man of Steel was that great of a film, because it really wasn't anything more apart from being extremely average with what happened to be a great cast in my opinion and hasn't done anything for the legacy of Sups on the big screen.
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5:08PM on 03/31/2014
^April fools came early. Lol...

^April fools came early. Lol...

5:23PM on 03/31/2014
I dont think Aronofsky cares so much about his reputation. Otherwise he wouldnt have made as controversial a film as Noah.
I dont think Aronofsky cares so much about his reputation. Otherwise he wouldnt have made as controversial a film as Noah.
7:37AM on 04/01/2014
Man of Steel is the best super hero movie After TASM. Sorry but deal with it. I've always hated Superman, that's why it was so great, they changed him, and made him less stupid.
Man of Steel is the best super hero movie After TASM. Sorry but deal with it. I've always hated Superman, that's why it was so great, they changed him, and made him less stupid.
4:52PM on 03/31/2014
I have the highest respect for Aronofsky as a filmmaker. I always have since the very first time that I saw Requiem and The Fountain. I love his attitude here especially. It's pretty much a dream of mine to have some of our more creative filmmakers take to the mainstream with creative elbow room. Of course, our best scenario yet has been Chris Nolan and the Batman franchise (which turned out spectacular). I also have high hopes for Antman at this point. But what if Arronofsky was able to
I have the highest respect for Aronofsky as a filmmaker. I always have since the very first time that I saw Requiem and The Fountain. I love his attitude here especially. It's pretty much a dream of mine to have some of our more creative filmmakers take to the mainstream with creative elbow room. Of course, our best scenario yet has been Chris Nolan and the Batman franchise (which turned out spectacular). I also have high hopes for Antman at this point. But what if Arronofsky was able to make a franchise movie that we all know and love, but make it HIS way. Or what about Tarantino? Or Boyle? Ultimate movie experience possibilities if you ask me.
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5:05PM on 03/31/2014
It would be quite an experience to see a director with the minds of Tarantino, Boyle, or Aronofsky work on a superhero franchise.
It would be quite an experience to see a director with the minds of Tarantino, Boyle, or Aronofsky work on a superhero franchise.
4:49PM on 03/31/2014

Respect!

Respect! The man knows film making and recognizes great film making.
Respect! The man knows film making and recognizes great film making.
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4:43PM on 03/31/2014

This is why I love Aronofsky

The man just has a good sense of honesty and directness. I'm sure his Wolverine would have been a lot darker and likely better (not that The Wolverine wasn't good). I hope after Noah, studios are more willing to give larger budgets with more "small studio" directors in order to enhance the variation within the blockbuster genre. Also, I hope Aronofsky returns more to his small films.
The man just has a good sense of honesty and directness. I'm sure his Wolverine would have been a lot darker and likely better (not that The Wolverine wasn't good). I hope after Noah, studios are more willing to give larger budgets with more "small studio" directors in order to enhance the variation within the blockbuster genre. Also, I hope Aronofsky returns more to his small films.
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4:35PM on 03/31/2014

Very respectful

I fucking love that
I fucking love that
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8:13PM on 03/31/2014
Def one aspect of him I like.
Def one aspect of him I like.
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