Storm clouds are already hovering over Friday’s release of Paramount’s biblical film Noah, sparked by Christian groups who don’t appreciate the story being tinkered with in any form.
Russell Crowe stars as the man from the Book of Genesis who followed God’s specific order to build an ark that would save his family and every animal species from an apocalyptic flood. The film’s controversy began with early screenings for religious groups in October.
Word leaked that they reacted badly to the dramatic license taken by writer/director Darren Aronofsky, and Paramount was reportedly shaken by the feedback.
Studio exec Rob Moore was interviewed about the negative reaction in The Hollywood Reporter: In some cases, Moore says, “people had recollections of the story that weren’t actually correct.” For example, there was Noah’s ability to open and close the door to the ark.
“People said the door to the ark is supposed to be so big that no man can close it. Well no, that’s not actually what it says. What it says is that God ultimately shut the door of the ark when the flood comes, so it wasn’t Noah shutting the door on the rest of humanity — it was God making a decision.” And then there’s the scene — which actually is in the Bible — in which Noah, back on land after the flood, gets drunk by himself in a cave.
“But most people do not remember or were never taught the fact that after Noah’s off the ark, there is a moment in the story where he is drunk,” says Moore.
The studio reportedly cut as many as six different versions of the movie that were more Christian friendly, but those fared no better in subsequent screenings. Aronofsky’s version ultimately prevailed and will be the one arriving in theaters this Friday.
The director stands behind his vision, telling EURweb that every creative decision made in the script has a purpose.
Noah arrives in theaters on Friday, March 28. Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Ray Winstone and Anthony Hopkins also star.