but I'm persuaded the windfall Aronofsky will earn from The Black Swan allowed him to take a hard look and decide his heart wasn't in The Wolverine. When Aronofsky took the job, he was in a much different position: he'd worked for practically nothing making Black Swan, which at the time was eyed as an art house film release; his plan to direct Robocop got hamstrung by MGM's strangling debt burden.
When he was recruited by his The Fountain star Hugh Jackman to helm The Wolverine, Aronofsky was looking at the first real chance in his career to make big money--$5 million against 5% of gross. Cut to now: The Black Swan's worldwide gross is a staggering $270 million, on a $16 million budget.
When a director like Aronofsky works for free, he gambles on success. He might not be getting the $50 million or so that Todd Phillips received when he gave back his fee on The Hangover for an equity stake, but I've heard Aronofsky's reward will be 8-figures. After that, did he really want to make a sequel?
If that's the way it's going down, good for Aronofsky.
If more really talented directors declined to be part of the grind-em-out-blockbuster machine that Hollywood has become and did their own things the quality of movies would increase exponentially.
That's not going to happen, but it's still nice to occasionally see someone remember what the point of making all that money is