Since 2000, Wolverine has appeared in a staggering eight films (not counting his First Class cameo). Each time, this sideburned superhero has been portrayed by Hugh Jackman, but while the star remains the same, a string of directors have all taken a crack at the character. Bryan Singer, Brett Ratner, Gavin Hood, and James Mangold have all had their turn at the helm, but if life had worked out differently, the Wolverine would've joined forces with Darren Aronofsky.
While he's only directed a handful of films, Aronofsky's resume is pretty diverse, ranging from a black-and-white indie thriller to a big-budget Biblical epic. Along the way, he also directed two films for Fox: The Wrestler and Black Swan. Both did well at the box office, garnered critical praise, and were honored during award season. Properly impressed with Aronofsky's game, the Fox executives offered the director a chance to helm their latest X-Men movie, The Wolverine.
Sadly, Aronofsky had a lot going on in his personal life at the time. He'd recently broken up with actress Rachel Weisz, and things were made more complicated by the fact that the two had a young son. On top of all that, The Wolverine was going to be filmed almost exclusively in Japan, and Aronofsky didn't want to spend that much time out of the country with all the drama going on back home. As he explained on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, "It was a hard time in my life. It was complicated. I couldn't leave New York for that long."
With everything going on, Aronofsky was forced to pull out, leaving Mangold to take the wheel. But in the end, it kind of worked out for everyone. The decision allowed Aronofsky to work on Noah, and it ended up leading Mangold to the opportunity to direct Logan, possibly the most anticipated X-Men film of all time.