Great Debate: Is Darren Aronofsky Leaving The Wolverine Really A Bad Thing?
If you've read any of our coverage of superhero movies in the past, you'll know that Eric is the comic book geek who wants more more more, while Katey is generally exhausted by origin stories and any movies about guys with extraordinary powers. The difference between us was never more obvious than today, when Darren Aronofsky walked away from The Wolverine; Eric was despondent to hear that such a talented director wouldn't be tackling a superhero story, while Katey was thrilled that he'd be using his Black Swan clout to make a story that's entirely his own.
So, as we do any time we disagree on something, we hashed it out on gchat and are sharing the conversation with you. Check out what we had to say below, and tell us which one you agree with in the comments.
Katey: Wait, is consensus internet opinion that Aronofsky leaving the Wolverine is a bad thing?
Eric: ..duh. Do you think differently?
Katey: I am going to write the world's shortest editorial proving that wrong.
Katey: "Because now he'll make an original, better movie he has actual control over." I don't give a shit about a Wolverine movie, and don't feel like he was as right for it as everyone wants him to have been.
Eric: Well, my argument from the beginning was that the project would only make sense if Aronofsky had total control. If the scoop is right, then I totally agree with you. But if Aronofsky did actually get to make the movie he wanted to make I don't see why that's a bad thing. Legitimate superhero movies are doable.
Katey: If you had your choice of what you wanted to see Aronofsky do with all his Black Swan success, would you honestly say Wolverine? Do you really think that was the best use of his talents?
Eric: I'm honestly curious as to what he could do with a big budget, franchise film. But, at the same time, i do see your point. I'd rather see him make something like Black Swan again. But the comic book fan in me wants to see the medium get taken seriously, and the only real way to do that is with real directing power. It worked with Nolan and it could have worked with Aronofsky.
Katey: I am just so burned out on superhero movies.
Eric: I am aware.
Katey: And kind of saw Aronofsky taking on one as yet another "Oh, we'll be able to take superhero movies seriously!" move. When really, there have been the two Spider-Man movies, the two Batman movies, and Iron Man. And a LOT of garbage.
Eric: But that's just the thing. When a superhero movie is done well it can be great.
Katey: But greater than something original Aronofsky would make?
Eric: I think there are two angles to look at it from. From the perspective of wanting to see a solid next X-Men movie, then Aronofsky was a great choice. But through the eyes of what will be Aronofsky's next project, I'd rather see something original
Katey: Let me put it to you as an either/or: you either get an original Darren Aronofsky film, made with all the money he wants and all the power he wants now that Black Swan Is a hit-- or you get a Wolverine that's probably good. Which do you want more?
Eric: I'm completely torn. The film fan half of my brain says that we need more original content from visionaries like Aronofsky. But the comic book fan feels that the genre needs great directors involved if it's going to be able to raise itself from all of the bad adaptations.
Katey: That's a fair point about the genre... but no one would have called Jon Favreau a great director, and few would have called Sam Raimi one either. It's a place where directors tend to pop up and surprise people.
Now, with Wolverine, who knows-- you've got a famously meddling studio, a star who's ready to go, like, now, and the fact that they've been planning to shoot in Japan, something that definitely won't happen in the next few weeks.
Eric: Just for clarification, are you making the argument that great directors shouldn't waste their time with superhero movies in general, or are you just saying that this is a specific case?
Katey: In this specific case, though in the case of any great director with a ton of clout, I'd rather them make something original, or at least make the superhero movie to get that clout. Nolan is the perfect example of everything we're talking about-- but it's starting to look like that's a unique case
Eric: But how do we know if it's a unique case if directors like Aronofsky aren't trying it out? For all we know Aronofsky's vision of The Wolverine could have been as great as The Dark Knight.
Katey: OK, I'll say it; I'll trade Darren Aronofsky's version of The Dark Knight for whatever original he's going to do instead. I know you wouldn't agree. Eric: I do not haha.
Katey: So before we wrap up-- any alternate director suggestions?
Eric: I heard this earlier today and I loved the idea, though I know it will never happen - Takashi Miike. But if Fox won't let Aronofsky express his vision, there's absolutely no way they'd let Miike express his.
Katey: Yeah, I wouldn't hold your breath on that one. And honestly, given that Gavin Hood seemed like a great choice for the first Wolverine, who even knows.
Eric: If the studio is going to continue to interfere, there is no right choice simple as that.
Katey: Oh boy, what a depressing note to end on.
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