Darren Aronofsky is known for creating cinematic masterpieces such as his 2010 Oscar winning film, Black Swan. However, it looks like Aronofsky’s latest venture, the biblical epic Noah, is doomed to fail. According to The Hollywood Reporter, screenings of the film have been met with generally unfavorable reactions, and now Paramount and New Regency (who are splitting the costs) are pressuring him to make changes. Aronofsky, who doesn’t typically work with big studios, is refusing to make those changes, and is standing by the film he originally shot. In fact, THR spoke with a talent rep close to the project who said, “Darren is not made for studio films. He is very dismissive. He doesn’t care about Paramount’s opinion.”
Unfortunately for Aronofsky, the director will most likely have to make a few changes since the studios have already invested at least $125 million in the project. Many are claiming the movie is facing these critical reactions due to an overuse of CGI effects. While the film obviously had to use these effects for the flood, Aronofsky also decided to use them for the animals as well, cutting out the use of real animals all together. He even altered some of them to create more fantastical creatures, making the film look unrealistic.
Other worries are plaguing the studios as Aronofsky is also receiving backlash from Christians who were offended by Aronofsky calling Noah “the first environmentalist.” Among his critics is the Christian screenwriter Brian Godawa, who called the script “an uninteresting and unbiblical waste of $150 million that will ruin for decades the possibility of making a really great and entertaining movie …. This movie will be rejected by millions of devoted Bible readers worldwide because once again it subverts their own sacred narrative with a political agenda of pagan Earth religion that is offensive to their faith.”
While these rumors swirl, Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore says the film is going through the “normal preview process” which “…Darren is overseeing.” Moore also explained that the studio “allowed for a very long post-production period, which allowed for a lot of test screenings.”
A spokesman for Aronofsky also commented; “This is a long and collaborative process, and Darren and the studio are working together to make the best version of his movie that they can. To comment on anonymous quotes only gives time and space to false rumors and gossip.”
Whether the film turns out to be an entertaining epic or a big-budget disaster, we’ll have to wait and see. Noah, starring Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson and Jennifer Connelly is set to be released March 28, 2014.