In the post-Christian world we now inhabit, making a Biblical epic seems like an uphill battle. There’s the need to appease faith-based audiences as well as the rest of us, and messing with a Bible story in certain fundamentals might turn some people away from a film. This has been the concern of Paramount in the production and release of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, and has resulted in some major clashes between the director and the studio.
In a recent interview with THR (via The Playlist), Aronofsky discussed the problems he’s had with the final cut of Noah. Paramount tested a half-dozen cuts of its own that were not approved by the director, causing a bit of tension between the Aronofsky and the studio. Says Aronofsky, “I was upset — of course. No one’s ever done that to me.”After going through all that, though, the studio’s cuts tested no better than the director’s own rough cuts, and so Paramount has had the good sense to put their faith in the director above all.
It seems that Paramount’s concerns are largely centered around the poor responses from faith-based audiences, which they view as one of Noah’s major demographics. The fact that they’re going ahead and releasing Aronofsky’s own cut means that either they’ve decided they don’t really need to bring in the faithful in large numbers, or the cut will be able to appease everyone.
It’s a thorny issue, of course, and one that might continue to haunt Noah when it finally arrives in cinemas. There are those viewers who will go see the film just because it’s an Aronofsky production, while others will go to see what Hollywood makes of the Noah story itself. Based on the trailers we have seen thus far, I have feeling that anyone expecting to see the Bible story writ large will be disappointed.
Noah comes to U.S. theatres on March 28.
Source: The Playlist