(Photo: Paramount Pictures)
It's billed as a "Biblical epic" but a Christian screenwriter in Hollywood who has had a chance to read the script for "Noah" says there's a good chance that the movie, which is still in production, will be far from the truth of the Gospel.
"If you were expecting a Biblically faithful retelling of the story of the greatest mariner in history and a tale of redemption and obedience to God you'll be sorely disappointed," Brian Godawa recently wrote in his analysis of an undated script he was able to get his hands on as a movie industry insider.
Godawa told The Christian Post that he is not 100 percent sure that the copy of the script written by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel that he read has since been changed to reflect a more accurate portrayal of what's written in the Bible, but chances aren't good that is the case.
In fact, he fears the movie's Noah (played by Russell Crowe) will be depicted more like an "environmentalist wacko."
"Noah paints the primeval world of Genesis 6 as scorched arid desert, dry cracked earth, and a gray gloomy sky that gives no rain – and all this, caused by man's 'disrespect' for the environment," Godawa wrote in his analysis. "In short, an anachronistic doomsday scenario of ancient global warming. How Neolithic man was able to cause such anthropogenic catastrophic climate change without the 'evil' carbon emissions of modern industrial revolution is not explained."
Apparently, Noah and his family also seek to "avoid the crowds and live off the land." He is this "kind of rural shaman, and vegan hippy-like gatherer of herbs, according to Godawa's analysis of the script. "Noah explains that his family 'studies the world,' 'healing it as best we can,' like a kind of environmentalist scientist," he writes.
He said that as a screenwriter of films like "To End All Wars" and "Alleged" which deal with faith, and author of the novel, Noah Primeval, which is about what led up to the Great Flood, he is especially conscious of "issues relating to the intersection of Hollywood and the Bible."
Although Noah may fail as a hit among Christians, Godawa said he is encouraged to see movie studios appreciating the value of making movies from stories in the Bible.
"Right now there are a bunch of Bible movies being developed all around town. A couple of David and Goliath movies are being developed. There are some others as well," he said. "It's not just about Bible bashing or fundamentalism. It's that these are really fascinating spiritual stories and they are worth remaking now that we have the higher value production values."
However, Godawa also sees a Hollywood that is easily prone to stray from the Word.
"The down side is that because so many in Hollywood really are not devoted believers in the Bible they misinterpret it and reinterpret it according to their own usually humanistic paradigm. This means they will twist it to make it say the opposite because they don't believe the Bible," he explained.
"They want to tell the story about the Bible that they think everyone wants to see. They are interpreting it through their own worldview. It's not necessarily a malicious thing," he continued. "I don't expect Aronofsky to be true to this biblical message because he probably doesn't really believe it. He's just going to use it to communicate his own [message]. He's already told us that when he said this is all about environmentalism."
In addition to not really embracing Aronofsky's creative license with the Bible in regards to the environment, Godawa notes that there's a problem with his interpretation morally.
"I have to say that the movie script for Noah is deeply anti-Biblical in its moral vision," he stated. "While the Bible commands mankind to 'work and keep' the garden of earth as its stewards, the sin that brought about the judgment of the Flood was NOT violence against the environment as depicted in the script, it was violence against God and his image in man. That's no minor difference."
In his quite detailed and long analysis of the script, Godawa concludes by making a harsh prediction about the possibility of success for the movie.
"All in all, the script for Noah is 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 beloved by billions of religious believers, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim," he wrote.
"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. In a very real sense it engages in the very sin of the primeval history in Genesis: A denial of the image of God in man."