Accidentally hilarious article at The Hollywood Reporter about how Paramount is hoping to sell Darren Aronofsky’s Noah to both secular and religious audiences. I love this bit (with the best sub-bit bolded by me):
Paramount, nervous about how audiences would respond to Aronofsky’s fantastical world and his deeply conflicted Noah, insisted on conducting test screenings over the director’s vehement objections while the film was a work in progress.
THR spoke with several people who saw an early test screening in Southern California’s Orange County and who identified themselves as religious. One viewer, who declined to give his name because Paramount required him to sign a nondisclosure agreement, echoed the sentiments of others by criticizing the depiction of Noah as a “crazy, irrational, religious nut” who is fixated on modern-day problems like overpopulation and environmental degradation.
Imagine that: a guy who talks to God about the end of the world is a crazy nut obsessed with the environment.
It gets better:
Aronofsky, who grew up in a conservative Jewish household, says his goal from the start was to make a Noah for everyone. For nonbelievers, he wanted to create “this fantastical world a la Middle-earth that they wouldn’t expect from their grandmother’s Bible school.” At the same time, he wanted to make a film for those “who take this very, very seriously as gospel.”
To Paramount, Noah seemed like an opportunity to do what Warner Bros. had done in entrusting Alfonso Cuaron with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as he came off of Y Tu Mama Tambien — take a chance on pairing an auteur talent with an important, big-budget project.
Got that? Noah is like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings: a big-budget fantasy. Except Paramount also wants to make a tiny segment of the audience believe it’s all really real.
It’s gonna be very interesting watching the reaction to this movie…