Darren Aronofsky pulls back from Wolverine’s claws!

Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter did a mad sprint towards their keyboards this morning upon hearing the news that Darren Aronofsky had pulled out of “The Wolverine” (Fox’s sequel to “X-Men : Origins” with Hugh Jackman, soon to lens in Japan).

The trade reported that Aronofsky had left the film, which would’ve reunited him with his “Fountain” star Hugh Jackman, because it would have kept him out of the country for too long.

“As I talked more about the film with my collaborators at Fox, it became clear that the production of The Wolverine would keep me out of the country for almost a year,” Aronofsky said in a joint statement with Fox.

“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,” he continued.

Deadline, however, says Aronofsky pulled out because of the custody battle he’s currently embroiled in with ex-girlfriend Rachel Weisz.

”Deadline has heard that his withdrawal has to do with his breakup with actress Rachel Weisz, and custody issues involving their son. All but two weeks of the film will be shot in Japan (a few scenes are being shot in Canada). His withdrawal had nothing to do with the script, because I’m told that Chris McQuarrie delivered. Or even the current crisis in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami. Aronofsky simply couldn’t be out of the country that long. There hadn’t been a firm start date. There was once an intention to start in the spring, but the situation in Japan and Jackman’s Real Steel promotional schedule pushed things back a bit.”

Stated Fox: “While we are of course disappointed that Darren can’t do The Wolverine, we also understand and respect his reasons. Having done both The Wrestler and Black Swan with Darren, we know he is an extraordinary talent and we look forward to working with him on other projects in the future. Hugh Jackman and Fox both remain fully committed to making The Wolverine. We will regroup and move forward aggressively.”

We will likely be hearing of prospective replacements for Aronofsky in the coming days.

Aronofsky sure does like to leave projects in the pool without their swimmers doesn’t he? “Watchmen”, “RoboCop”, “Superman”…