Darren Aronofsky is no stranger to controversy. Since production began in Summer 2012, misfortune and behind-the-scenes skirmishes with Paramount over final cut have plagued his Biblical epic “Noah” — including the eerily apropos deluge of Hurricane Sandy that halted production in Fall 2012. But finally, blows were dealt and Aronofsky got his way. The version of the $130-million would-be tentpole hitting theaters on March 28 will be his preferred 132-minute cut. With one small change.
In an effort to curb further controversy and reach the widest possible audience, Paramount has tacked a religious disclaimer onto its marketing materials that reads “This film has been inspired by the story of Noah.” Meaning that Aronofsky has taken more than a few liberties in his telling of the tale. How could we expect anything less from the director of “Requiem for a Dream” and “Black Swan”? When I think Aronofsky, The Book of Genesis doesn’t exactly come to mind. But he’s ready to flex his muscles with the big guys.
In the latest issue of The New Yorker, Aronofsky candidly opens up to Tad Friend about his struggle to wrest final cut from Paramount, and how he became the studio’s enfant terrible. “I don’t give a fuck about the test scores! My films are outside the scores. Ten men in a room trying to come up with their favorite ice cream are going to agree on vanilla. I’m the Rocky Road guy.”
But for Aronofsky, even though “the process sucked,” the light is winning. He tells Friend: “I don’t know if you can find another over-a-hundred-million-dollar movie that didn’t have reshoots. And, at this point, Paramount ninety-eight-percent supports everything I want in the movie. So I live and die by this version, and take full responsibility.”
The trailer is here. Watch the first official clip, and an extended international TV spot, below.