Darren Aronofsky, the man known for mesmerizing his audiences into a state of depression with films like Requiem For a Dream and Black Swan, may end up being in a depressed state himself soon enough.
Aronofsky’s next film Noah might be in hot water with Paramount, the studio behind the 2014 epic. Noah is currently going through test screenings with multiple audiences in Arizona and California (particularly those of Jewish and Christian faiths), which has supposedly resulted in “troubling reactions.”
While Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore has said that they hope to produce “the one version of the movie that Darren is overseeing,” sources like The Hollywood Reporter have stated that Paramount and Aronofsky are battling over who has final cut over the $125 million budgeted production.
Now, I’m a huge fan of Aronofsky’s work. The man knows how to beautifully craft stories of real human fears, from the horrors of drug abuse in Requiem for a Dream to the psychological torment of creative expectations in The Wrestler & Black Swan. He knows how to take the ugliest of material and create something darkly gorgeous out of it, no matter how grimy or insidious the concept is. That’s why his decision to make a film about Noah confuses me. Of all the grand scale biblical stories, he decides to turn the one about a dude putting animals on a boat into a major studio epic?
So, it doesn’t surprise me that much that Paramount is nervous about this production. They’ve sunk a pretty large sum of money into this production and their main audience of religious folks don’t seem to responding well to it. $125 million is a lot to invest in for a movie about Noah’s Ark and it’s natural to be anxious about it’s potential success. That being said, I still have faith in Aronofsky’s talents as a director given his track record. Even my least favorite film of his The Fountain has a lot of visual beauty to it. So having him keep final cut is still a worthy risk to take, especially when you have a cast like features the likes of Russell Crowe, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Hopkins to entice people enough.
So, will Aronofsky’s vision be realized? Should Paramount be worried? Will this end up being a secret prequel to Evan Almighty? Post your own answers/thoughts in the comments below!