The art house director Aronofsky quoted family reasons as for why he was stepping down on the follow-up to 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He said that because of the film's lengthy shooting schedule it just wouldn't work out. "I was not comfortable being away from my family for that length of time. I am sad that I won't be able to see the project through, as it is a terrific script and I was very much looking forward to working with my friend, Hugh Jackman, again." Fox who is in the late stages of pre-production ("The Wolverine" was scheduled to begin shooting in June) also released a statement explaining they will indeed move forward as soon as possible. "While we are of course disappointed that Darren can’t do 'The Wolverine,' we also understand and respect his reasons...Hugh Jackman and Fox both remain fully committed to making 'The Wolverine.' We will regroup and move forward aggressively."
L.A. Times pointed out the trend of hiring art-house directors for major tentpole superhero films hasn't been the rising success most hoped for outside of Christopher Nolan and the Batman franchise. Could 20th Century Fox go out and make a bid on some talented and out of the norm choices like Steven Soderbergh, Pedro Almodovar, Michael Winterbottom or Spike Jonze? I doubt it, but you never know. Another thought is David Slade who was recently announced to direct a Daredevil sequel for 20th Century Fox that will follow the Born Again comics written by Frank Miller. Perhaps Fox will ask him to jump ship from Daredevil over to Wolverine? I think this is unlikely, but if Fox wants to keep their timeline, Slade might be the choice.
In related news 20th Century Fox released a casting log for 8 roles in "The Wolverine" along with the casting call was a very brief synopsis: After getting into trouble in his native Canada, A Japanese man named Zen arranges for Logan's release and offers to answer questions about his origin if Logan will accompany him to Tokyo. Like most predicted and Jackman had previously claimed, the film will feature a substantial amount in Japan like the original Claremont/Miller comics did.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter