The upcoming “Noah” movie flows in large part from the imagination of director Darren Aronofsky, and could upset some Christian audiences.
Leading up to the March 28 release date, Paramount Pictures, nervous about how the movie would perform, conducted test screenings over Aronofsky’s vehement objections.
Some of the recruited Christian viewers questioned the film’s adherence the the Biblical story and reacted negatively to the way Noah himself is portrayed, with an emotional darkness that includes getting drunk and considering taking drastic measures to eradicate mankind from the planet, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Paramount tested as many as six of its own cuts of the movie, upsetting Aranofsky. “No one’s ever done that to me,” the director told THR.
The director and studio says that the “rough patch” are behind them. Rob Moore, vice chair, said that Paramount’s advertising campaign emphasizes that the movie, an exploration of Noah’s emotional journey, flows in large part from Aronofsky’s imagination.
Moore said that the movie is not the more literal version that was produced for the History channel.
“They’ve been very effective in terms of communicating to and being embraced by a Christian audience,” says Moore. “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.”
He said that the key themes of the Biblical story of Noah –“of faith and hope and God’s promise to mankind”–is still reflected.
“Our anticipation is that the vast majority of the Christian community will embrace it,” he said.
“We wanted to smash expectations of who Noah is,” said Aronofsky. “The first thing I told Russell is, ‘I will never shoot you on a houseboat with two giraffes behind you.’ … You’re going to see Russell Crowe as a superhero, a guy who has this incredibly difficult challenge put in front of him and has to overcome it.”