- (Photo: Paramount Pictures)
Director Darren Aronofsky says his new film "Noah" is a "very different" movie, and anything viewers are expecting will be wrong.
The director, who also directed "Black Swan" and "The Wrestler," has maintained confidence in the film's success, despite criticism over the past few weeks that questions the film's biblical accuracy. The director told an audience at the film's world premiere in Mexico City on Monday that "Noah" is a "very, very different movie. Anything you're expecting, you're [expletive] wrong."
Additionally, the director told Variety in an interview last week that the viewers' concerns about the movie will dissolve once they watch it. "The controversy is all about the unknown and about the fear of people trying to exploit a Bible story," said Aronofsky. "It will all disappear as soon as people start seeing the film."
"Noah," starring Russell Crowe, has been plagued with a rash of adversity since its release date was first announced earlier in 2014. The film was first criticized by some evangelical Christians who argued it does not accurately represent the story of Noah and the flood found in the Bible. Some even accused Aronofsky as using the biblical story merely as a vessel to communicate the film's themes of environmentalism and overpopulation.
Criticism prompted the film's executives to include a disclaimer that will be presented on the film's future marketing materials. The disclaimer says that although the film does take "artistic license," the movie stays true to the "essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide."
The film then hit another obstacle when Islamic leaders in multiple Middle Eastern countries announced the film would be banned from local theaters because it violated Islamic law by personifying one of Allah's prophets. Censorship groups in Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates reportedly confirmed this past weekend that the film will "not be released in their countries" because it "contradicts the teachings of Islam." Other countries, including Egypt, Kuwait and Jordan, are also expected to follow suit in banning the film.
Aronofsky reportedly butted heads with Paramount executives on which ending "Noah" should have, as executives wanted to pick an alternative ending that would appeal most to Christian moviegoers. Although the production company ultimately chose Aronofsky's original ending, it still paid the director a heightened budget of $160 million in exchange for the option of adding a different ending to the film.
The director told The New Yorker that in the end, he doesn't care if Paramount executives want to make "Noah" appeal to Christian moviegoers. Ultimately, Aronofsky's version of the ending reportedly received higher scores on test audiences than the alternate versions, and therefore his ending made the final cut.
"Noah is the least biblical biblical film ever made," Aronofsky said in a recent filmmaker profile in The New Yorker. "I don't give a [expletive] about the test scores! My films are outside the scores." In regard to Paramount executives trying to agree on the film's ending, Aronofsky said: "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."
The film is set for a nationwide release on March 28, and will hit the United Kingdom on April 4.