Director Darren Aronofsky’s action-packed film adaptation of Noah’s Ark is set it hit theaters March 28. But new reports suggest the film, titled Noah and starring Russell Crowe, might not go over well with some audiences, and Paramount Pictures is concerned. Why? Well, for starters, Noah is portrayed as a drunk who is worried about environmental issues.
“There are three versions that are being tested. And the director is upset because he has his version that he wants, but the studios have another version,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “And Hollywood is saying, ‘Yes, that there are going to be some religious people that are upset because it’s not exactly the Noah story.’”
“What, what, what, what, what? The guy with the two animals and the giant ark who’s on a mission from God… How do you make that story into something else,” he continued. “Well, Noah is a drunk… [and] yes, is worried about climate change. And he’s also worried about the overpopulation of the Earth with one million people on Earth.”
In a new in-depth story about the making of the film, The Hollywood Reporter learned there has been conflict brewing behind the scenes, as studio execs feared their $125 million investment would not pan out. Aronofsky, meanwhile, is attached to his more “creative” adaptation of the Biblical story.
The trouble began when Paramount, nervous about how audiences would respond to Aronofsky’s fantastical world and his deeply conflicted Noah, insisted on conducting test screenings over the director’s vehement objections while the film was a work in progress.
Friction grew when a segment of the recruited Christian viewers, among whom the studio had hoped to find Noah’s most enthusiastic fans, questioned the film’s adherence to the Bible story and reacted negatively to the intensity and darkness of the lead character. Aronofsky’s Noah gets drunk, for example, and considers taking drastic measures to eradicate mankind from the planet. Hoping to woo the faith-based crowd, Paramount made and tested as many as half-a-dozen of its own cuts of the movie. “I was upset — of course,” Aronofsky tells The Hollywood Reporter in his first extensive interview about the film’s backstory. “No one’s ever done that to me.”
Moore says Aronofsky’s Noah is not in the more literal vein of the blockbuster Bible series produced for the History channel by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey… “This movie has a lot more creativity to it. And therefore, if you want to put it on the spectrum, it probably is more accurate to say this movie is inspired by the story of Noah.”
Aronofsky, however, has been relatively clear about his vision for the film since the beginning. Back in September 2008, Arnofsky told Slashfilm.com:
“It’s the end of the world and it’s the second most famous ship after the Titanic. So I’m not sure why any studio won’t want to make it. I think it’s really timely because it’s about environmental apocalypse which is the biggest theme, for me, right now for what’s going on on this planet. So I think it’s got these big, big themes that connect with us. Noah was the first environmentalist. He’s a really interesting character. Hopefully they’ll let me make it.”
In 2012, he followed that up with these remarks:
“I don’t think it’s a very religious story… I think it’s a great fable that’s part of so many different religions and spiritual practices. I just think it’s a great story that’s never been on film… He’s a dark, complicated character. The tragedies we perform on each other are so well reported. Quite clearly, the planet is dying, and we are dying on it.”
Glenn is still undecided as to whether or not he will see the film. While he finds the concept fascinating, he hates to give Hollywood a dime. Ultimately, he suggests teaching your kids the Biblical story of Noah before letting them see the film adaptation.
“Do me a favor. Teach your kids the real Noah story. Teach your kids that,” Glenn said. “I’m so fascinated by seeing the ark and have it really brought to life. It looks spectacular. [But] Don’t bring your kids to this until you’ve seen it yourself… Don’t fill their heads with this nonsense.”
Check out the Noah trailer below: