It hasn’t been a smooth road to the big screen for Darren Arnofsky’s Noah. It took him years to get backing for the movie and it seems even after the gave it the greenlight, Paramount has still been a little nervous, particularly trying to ensure Christians – who could be a massive audience for the movie – would like this idiosyncratic take on the bible story.
Now four character posters for the film have been released – featuring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Logan Leman and Ray Winston – and Aronofsky has been talking to THR about the difficult he had with test screenings.
Paramount showed various versions to all sorts of Christian groups, who made some suggestions for changes. The director was against holding these tests in the first place and says, “I was upset — of course. No one’s ever done that to me. There was a rough patch. I imagine if I made comedies and horror films, it would be helpful. In dramas, it’s very, very hard to do. I’ve never been open to it.”
However the studio eventually went with Darren Aronofsky’s own version. He comments, “I’m a great closer. I’ve never reshot a frame, and I think that’s very odd on big-budget movies. We’re meticulous. We come from independent film, with limited resources. They tried what they wanted to try, and eventually they came back. My version of the film hasn’t been tested… It’s what we wrote and what was greenlighted.”
As for whether it’s true to the Bible of he, he comments, “I had no problem completely honoring and respecting everything in the Bible and accepting it as truth. Of course, my production designer [Mark Friedberg] had a million ideas of what it could look like, but I said, ‘No, the measurements are right there.’ We wanted to smash expectations of who Noah is. 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.”