Hollywood is finally taking on the full tale of Noah’s ark, but the film, directed by Darren Aronofsky, has not been received kindly in early previews, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
THR said ”test screenings for key groups that might take a strong interest in the subject matter: in New York (for a largely Jewish audience), in Arizona (Christians)…have generated troubling reactions.”
Aronofsky, who is Jewish, secured final cut approval for the film, which means that he is not obligated to make any changes he doesn’t want to.
His last hit, Black Swan, starred Natalie Portman, born in Jerusalem, who won an Oscar for her role in the popular film that grossed $329 million worldwide.
An executive from Paramount, which is splitting the cost of the $125 million film with New Regency, told The Hollywood Reporter that the film is going through a “normal preview process” and the result will be “one version of the movie that Darren is overseeing.”
He added that the studio knew the film would be a complicated production and “allowed for a very long post-production period, which allowed for a lot of test screenings.”
While Aronofsky “definitely wants some level of independence,” he adds, “he also wants a hit movie.” The bottom line: “We’re getting to a very good place, and we’re getting there with Darren.”
Aonofsky’s version of the film met with some resistance online after writer Brian Godawa obtained a version of the film script and posted his summary online under the heading, “Darren Aronofsky’s Noah: Environmentalist Wacko.”
Aronofsky had described Noah as “the first environmentalist,” but Godawa’s biggest complaint is that Noah will be “an uninteresting and unbiblical waste of a hundred and fifty million dollars that will ruin for decades the possibility of making a really great and entertaining movie of this Bible hero.”
Others have responded positively to clips of the film. In July, an early cut of the trailer was screened for an audience at the Echo Conference, with a positive response among attendees being reported.