Darren Aronofsky and Paramount at Odds Over NOAH Final Cut after “Worrisome” Test Screenings

by     Posted 320 days ago

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Darren Aronofsky is not what one would call a “commercial” filmmaker.  The director has crafted plenty of excellent features, from Requiem for a Dream to The Wrestler to Black Swan, but he tends to march to the beat of his own drum without worrying about delivering blockbuster box office results.  With his latest film, though, Aronfosky is tackling the epic Biblical story of the Great Flood on his largest scale yet, and with a big movie comes big expectations.  Noah involves extensive visual effects and carries a hefty budget, and now Aronofsky is deep in post-production on the Paramount Pictures film.

However, it appears that Aronofsky’s independent sensibilities are having a hard time mixing with Paramount’s eye for widespread appeal, as the director and the studio are reportedly at odds over the final cut of Noah after multiple test screenings have delivered disappointing results.  Hit the jump for more.

russell-crowe-noahWith a budget of around $130 million, Aronofsky always knew he would be aiming for a wider audience on Noah.  He assembled an impressive ensemble cast led by Russell Crowe and set out to capture some ambitious visuals while filming in Iceland, and now Paramount is test screening the current cut of the film to gauge audience reaction.  Obviously the pic will be scrutinized by the religious community given its source material, so Paramount reportedly screened the film for specific groups in recent weeks: a largely Jewish audience in New York, a largely Christian audience in Arizona, and a general audience in Orange County.

THR reports that all three test screenings generated “troubling” reactions, and Aronofsky has thus far been unresponsive to Paramount’s requests for changes to be made to the film.  Given the significant budget and high level of interest, Paramount has a lot riding on the pic’s success and is understandably wanting to make the most appetizing version of the film possible.  However, when you hire Darren Aronofsky to make a film about Noah, you’re going to get a Darren Aronofsky film about Noah; Michael Bay he is not.

Aronofsky fans shouldn’t take word of poor test screening reactions as a bad sign, as there have been plenty of films over the years that received poor test scores and gone on to become incredibly successful.  All of the animals in Noah have been created using computer-generated effects—some of which are fantastical in origin—and the film also involves 11-foot-tall fallen angels called Watchers, so audiences expecting a biographical tale of the titular Biblical hero are probably a little taken aback at the cut that has been screening.

Hopefully Aronofsky and Paramount can find some middle ground that doesn’t compromise the film’s integrity.  THR’s report notes that it’s unclear whether Aronofsky has held on to his right to final cut on Noah, but Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore seemed optimistic about the final result: “[Aronofsky] definitely wants some level of independence, [but] he also wants a hit movie.  We’re getting to a very good place, and we’re getting there with Darren.”  Let’s hope so.  Noah is currently slated to open in theaters on March 28, 2014.

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  • JK1193

    I think the fault is Paramount’s. Since moving G.I. Joe out of the summer release last year, they’ve had an unlucky year. The only hits have been Star Trek and World War Z, despite negative fan backlash and the troubled production for the respective titles, Scorsese has had editing disputes with the studio over Wolf of Wall Street, causing it to be delay to Christmas and moving Jack Ryan to January (on top of that, they’re only other major awards title, Labor Day, screened to mixed reviews at Toronto with no trailer yet before its Christmas release) and now Noah has production issues. My only suggestion to this is a change-up in the executives and sort out this mess.

    • JK1193

      I mean “their”, before some smart-ass tries to correct me like last time.

    • Kievster

      Fault? It received poor ratings at test screenings. Aronofsky is not listening to the studio. From the sounds of the article, it sounds like Paramount hasn’t done anything yet except finance it. There is no fault to be assigned … yet.

      • Northern Star

        Why should Aronofsky alter his vision of the film based merely on a couple of test screenings? I sincerely hope he has final cut on this film and sticks to it…

      • Patrick Campbell

        It’s been way more than a “couple” test screenings. It’s screening like crazy in Orange County. I’ve gotten seven different invites for it over the last two months alone, and from what I understand, it’s been a different cut every other time, but with the same results. If they’re already testing different cuts of the film, I’d say there’s a chance he’s already had final cut taken away…

    • Gerard Kennelly

      ‘world war Z’ had a rocky road to the screen but it was pretty good imo
      same as DREDD
      there was war behind the scenes there
      and it was the best film i saw in ages (and it was better then TDKR )

    • The Flobbit

      Labor Day received rave reviews, what are you talking about?

  • Reijanrobo

    I attended one of the Arizona screenings and was definitely in the minority as someone who is not very religious now but grew up in that environment. I was very impressed with the films narrative given the source material. I feel the film makers took the correct liberties with the story, since it took place in a time in history that is very much a mystery to everyone. I hope to see a cut very similar to what I saw a couple months ago.

    • Person

      What was the state of the visual effects in the cut you saw? And roughly how long was it? If you’re able to share…

    • Redjester

      1-10, how would you rank the film? If it’s anything less than an 8, the film probably should be reworked anyways.

    • Unicron

      This did not take place in a certain time in history!
      This is a biblical myth!
      xoxo

    • Ariadne

      How was the acting?

    • Reijanrobo

      The Acting was spot on from all the adults and Emma Watson. The SFX were obviously not finished but looked pretty awesome rendered the way they were. there were a couple very elaborate sequences that will look amazing, perhaps slightly psychedelic once completed. It was cool to see many animals that do not exist today. It was definitely about 2 hours in the cut I saw but they put enough story in there to fill it all. Some of the character development was totally unnecessary for characters that we barely see in the movie as a whole. The movie right now is probably a 6.5 simply due to pacing issues, which totally make sense in a screening that early. once some of the wasted small character development is trimmed then I think it will not drag as much. After that is fixed I would highly recommend this film, the narrative is fine. As for the story being a myth. I think the direction the story went took into account that if this did happen it was not exactly how it is told in the bible. It took into account that over time some details were probably left out as what would happen in any story told over a long period of time. Assuming still there was some mystical or magical happenings it the old world. Without giving too much away, I never felt like I was getting slapped in the face with a bible or religion minus a few references to scriptures as intermissions between acts. Hope that answers some questions. :)

    • True Grit

      I saw one of the screenings in Arizona as well. Forget about the religious aspect, the film was AWEFUL. Seriously, it wasn’t good. My buddy and I walked out of the theater and just looked at eachother with a blank stare, wondering what we just watched. The visual effects were unfinished, I’m sure they will look great when it hits theaters, but that won’t save this film, not by a long shot!

      I walked into the theater not expecting to agree with the film 100%, and I was OK with that. What I saw was beyond what I thought. The movie is just plain bad. I think it will tank on early word of mouth alone. I doubt they will let critics release reviews prior to the film being released because it will kill it.

      Just thinking about the film is making me laugh, it was SO BAD!

      P.S. I think it only ran a little over 2 hours, but to me it felt like 3 hours, and that’s saying a lot because I like long, epic movies, think Lawrence of Arabia.

      • Crockett

        I think you meant it was AWFUL. The word AWEFUL is not an English word, and contains the word “awe” which means you were in awe of this film, a positive statement.However, I would note that “awful” does have an etymological connection to “awe”: c.1300, agheful “worthy of respect or fear,” from aghe, an earlier form of awe (n.), + -ful. Replaced Old English egefull. Weakened sense “very bad” is from 1809; weakened sense of “exceedingly” is by 1818.

      • Cody

        Get over yourself.

      • GrimReaper07

        That’s a long post full of absolutely nothing. Instead of repeating over and over again how bad it is you could elaborate what things you didn’t like.

      • Andrew

        This is a woefully written review. You can’t just say “I hate it because I hate it because I hate it because I hate it”. You have to explain WHY you didn’t like it, so that the reader gets a feel for the film.

  • Redjester

    Believe it or not, I’m looking eagerly anticipating this film, and I’m also an atheist. I also chose to see “Passion of the Christ” in theaters and enjoyed the film as well. How you may ask? Well, the trick is to treat it as what it is, a fantastical fictional story much akin to Beowolf, the Illiad and the Odyssey rather than a film meant to promote said religion or reinforce said religions beliefs.

    Plus, Aronofsky hasn’t put out a poorly done film yet.

    • Diego Fernando Salazar Proaño

      I’m atheist too, so is my father and we have been doing precisely that for years! It’s nice to see someone who enjoys that kind of movies the same way.

      • Gerard Kennelly

        the peado church propaganda ?

    • Nerdgasm

      The Fountain and Black Swan were very poor. Black Swan mirrored too much of the Wrestler for me to enjoy it. I wouldn’t say that I enjoy Requiem for the fact that I would watch it over and over and over again – but as a film it does what it needs to. I enjoy the Wrestler… but Pi isn’t that great either. That being said I wouldn’t mind seeing what happens if you give this guy a budget [like what he was given for Noah.] should be interesting.

      • Bob

        Black Swan was amazing imo. Phenomenal film with imo easily one of the best Actress performances of the 21st century so far imho.

      • Gerard Kennelly

        that year portman won
        i felt Noomi Rapace girl dragon tattoo
        and Jennifer Lawrence winters bone were superior

      • GrimReaper07

        Black Swan and The Wrestler have next to nothing in common. They’re so different tonally and thematically that I can’t figure out where you’re coming from. Black Swan was great and The Fountain might be Aronofsky’s best.

      • Gerard Kennelly

        what i wouldn’t give to
        see the aronofsky version of ‘batman begins’
        his script starts with gordon sticking a gun in his mouth !!!

      • GrimReaper07

        Really? I read quite a lot about that movie that never was, but do you know if there’s a script out there or sth?

      • Gerard Kennelly
      • GrimReaper07

        That’s not Batman Begins… but thanks I guess.

      • hockablah

        Really? you think Black Swan and the Wrestler have nothing in common? Black Swan was simply the female version of The Wrestler. nothing more. both are fantastic movies in my opinion. but if you can’t see the comparison, then you sir, are a moron.

      • GrimReaper07

        One is a psychological sex thriller/horror movie about obsession and the toll of achieving perfection while the other is a small and slow moving drama about redemption, former glory and new shots at life. There are similarities, but they are minuscule. The two films are ridiculously different and if you can’t see that then you’re the moron.

      • JBug

        Thematically and plot-wise there are no similarities. Those of you arguing there, please explain. I really don’t see it. Maybe the style?

      • GrimReaper07

        I am the one saying they’re very different though. I guess they’re sort of similar in the way that they build the movies up around a “final work” of sorts for the characters (a ballet in Black Swan and a fight in The Wrestler). That’s where the similarities end, and even they are very vague.

      • hockablah
      • GrimReaper07

        They started off as a single movie… that didn’t have anything to do with neither The Wrestler nor Black Swan. Again, the similarities between both are superficial and very little. That they began as a single story has nothing to do with it and doesn’t help your argument at all.

      • JBug

        Thanks

      • hockablah
      • Crockett

        The Fountain bears repeat viewing. It may not be an exciting film, but it challenges the mind and heart.

      • GrimReaper07

        Beautiful film. Jackman’s best performance for sure.

      • The Flobbit

        The Fountain is utterly stunning and beautiful.

    • Matt

      I don’t think anyone who’s an atheist (myself among them) or religious (what I once was) ever really thought films like Noah or Passion of the Christ were for religious audiences only. These films weren’t made to be religious propaganda (say what you will about Gibson’s history of anti-semitic statements, there’s no history we have to corroborate any of the Bible’s versions of Jesus’ death). They’re made to be films. You’re enjoying them just as you have every right.

    • Harry Palm

      “Plus, Aronofsky hasn’t put out a poorly done film yet.”

      That’s certainly a matter of opinion.

  • Daniel O’Reilly

    It’s important to realize Aronofsky adapted a graphic novel, not the Biblical account. It will undoubtedly have the things you think of when you think of Noah (big boat, lots of animals, lots of water), but anyone thinking it will slavishly follow Scripture hasn’t been paying attention to a single Biblical epic released in the last 60 or so odd years (with the height of their popularity coming in the 50′s and 60′s).

    • The Flobbit

      Actually, the height was probably the 90′s, where an Italian company funded a whole bunch of big films filmed in North Africa, with stars such as: Ben Kingsley, Sean Bean, Monica Bellucci, Richard Harris, Christopher Lee, Patrick Stewart, Patrick Dempsey, Oliver Reed, and more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beyondredemptionamiddamnation Brad Lee

    Yeah right, as if test screenings should be taken seriously….I can name a thousand movies that did NOT benefit from a “test” screening….hey, here is one off the top of my head, “I Am Legend”….the people who attend such events seemingly are the stupidest movie goers in history…..

    • Batzombie

      They WERE right about Sucker Punch, though

      • Gerard Kennelly

        sucker punch felt like ‘one flew over the,, sin city matrix’

    • Nerdgasm

      I am legend was shit

      • Bob

        Maybe he’s implying Test Screening were really positive? Because besides a great Smith performance let down by actually everything else the movie sucked.

    • axalon

      Right, but can you name the thousand movies that DID benefit from a “test” screening?

  • Chase

    Hey Adam Shitwood, you’re turning into another Matt Goldberg.

  • Mixed Race rich kid NYC

    March ?
    I though the movie was coming out next fall
    I don’t remember a good studio film coming out in march

    • Batzombie

      21 Jump Street (if you’re talking about years past)

    • Nerdgasm

      Number one… you don’t even know if itll be good…. Number two… it really doesn’t fall anywhere else. Maybe Fall… but big budget movies tend to be pushed aside by oscar voters in the fall and it won’t have a chance during the summer it’s not suppose to be heavy on action. But then again beggining of the year fare is also tend to be looked over by oscar voters too.

    • Matt Clayton

      Let’s see… there’s the first Hunger Games movie. Came out in late March 2012, grossed $600M+ worldwide, and greenlit three sequels in short order. Oh, and 21 Jump Street.

      There’s other films, like 300, Alice in Wonderland, Oz: The Great & Powerful, G.I. Joe: Retaliation as well as a dozen animated films that hit it big. But I don’t think you enjoyed those…

      • Mixed Race rich kid NYC

        I didn’t enjoy any of the movies you mentioned

        I’m that pretentious

      • GrimReaper07

        To be perfectly honest, that second batch of movies you mentioned were all terrible.

      • Gerard Kennelly

        i remember
        that greedy prick james cameron complained
        that the 3D screens showing alice in wonderland
        could have been used to screen avatar
        he “lost money”

  • Jack

    I adore Aronofsky but who in there right mind at Paramount gave him $130 million??! That figure can’t possibly be right thats an absurd amount of money. Black Swan grossed over 300 mil, but it was still on a budget of only 13 million. I don’t think Aronofsky has ever had a budget over 35 mill. Auteurs on the level of Aronofsky are not known for making commercially successful flicks (despite how successful they are critically). Obviously an epic like Noah’s Arch is going to be expensive but i’m still shocked they let the budget get over 60 million. That was a bad bad move on the studio’s part

    • james

      Noah never made an arch…he did make an arc though

      • kim

        ^^what a prick

        no but the budget on pi was 60,000
        requiem was 4.5 million
        the fountain was 35 million
        The Wrestler was 6 million
        Black Swan was 13 million

        Seems like a different way to spend 130 million but hey they gave Evan Almighty 175 so…

      • Gerard Kennelly

        6 million
        13 million
        was ‘black swan’ twice as good as ‘the wrestler’
        NNooooo
        lol :)

      • Brian James

        He never made one of those either.

      • Crockett

        The Arc de Triomphe? Or perhaps you meant the Ark.

    • Roy Batty

      EX-FUCKING-ACTLY!

  • Jason Richards

    If this film bombs, then Aronofsky pretty much will never see a big budget movie offer again. Between him constantly dropping out of big projects like the Watchmen, Batman Begins, Robocop, Wolverine and him being difficult with studios, I don’t see him ever getting a chance to direct a big budget movie again if this bombs. The guy can direct, but with the way he acts, he’s destined to be doing indie flicks his entire career.

    • Sten

      I actually like it more, when the real talents stick to theirs instead of doing interchangable blockbuster movies. Look what the studios did to Andrei Konchalovsky, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Paul Verhoeven, John Woo and lots of other highly talented people…

      • chaos…reigns

        Again the wisdom of Lars von Trier warning international directors to avoid Hollywood seems as poignant as ever.

      • Gerard Kennelly

        he was gonna remake TAXI DRIVER yeah ?

      • chaos…reigns

        No, he was going to do another 5 Obstructions type project with Scorcese. And according to some unsubstantiated rumors it was/is going to be of Taxi Driver. But it would be Scorcese redoing the work based on von Trier’s conceptual prompts.

      • chaos…reigns

        No, he was going to do another 5 Obstructions type project with Scorcese. And according to some unsubstantiated rumors it was/is going to be of Taxi Driver. But it would be Scorcese redoing the work based on von Trier’s conceptual prompts.

      • Gerard Kennelly

        after watching DRIVE
        i think gosling would be a perfect travis bickle

      • chaos…reigns

        Well the original 5 Obstructions used a series of actors, and non actors. Granted that film was adapting a short film, so really who knows what this will be/would have been.

      • Jason Richards

        The studio didn’t seek out Aronofsky for this project. He actively pitched his graphic novel to be made into a film, but now a year and some months later, he’s refusing to cut the film to improve it. He’s being a prick for the sake of being a prick. I’ve seen and heard way too many stories about this dude to take his side. The personal and work stories from PA’s I know out in hollywood will remain secret.

      • Andrew

        How do you know what is being proposed is an improvement? How do you know that the studio didn’t get the market researchers to ask ONLY questions that would generate certain responses? In truth, we don’t actually know what the circumstances are and what the responses are: did each audience have the same problem? If that’s the case, then Aronofsky would be arrogantly stupid not to listen to them. However, if all three audiences have different problems, then that may not necessarily be an issue with the film. I am sure Aronofsky is a prick in real life, but that doesn’t necessarily make him wrong.

      • Crockett

        I very much want to see another Paul Verhoeven film. He is a brilliant director. Those who dismiss him don’t understand him, or his films..

    • Andrew

      “The guy can direct, but with the way he acts, he’s destined to be doing indie flicks his entire career.”

      So you’re saying he should quit being a direct and just act in independent films? Awesome, he can finally do what he was meant to onscreen: play Christian Bale’s brother.

  • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

    I hope it turns out good! I like Aronofsky’s movies. Especially The Fountain.

    • Gerard Kennelly

      hugh jackman best performances —
      the fountain
      animal attraction
      the prestige
      prisoners
      les miserables

  • Matt

    Test Screenings imply what? Certainly not critical consensus, especially if you’re asking “religious” Jews and Christians. I used quotes because I can’t italicize. If those viewers know the text (or at least consider themselves experts despite being monumentally dumb) then their views are irrelevant. As a raised Catholic (no longer so) I can say there’s very little nuanced understanding of Noah beyond he saved a bunch of animals. If Jews have a better grasp on the intricacies of the story its also irrelevant because there cannot be enough of those in the US or the world to make a box office difference.

    Point being: these folks will have no bearing on the financial or critical success of the film. It’ll make back its budget in 2 and 1/2 weeks in the states, just based on its cast and “epicness”. I’m sure it’ll gross 300 million worldwide. Perhaps thats not the number Paramount wanted, fair enough if so, but its a solid return.

    And my opinions may be just conjecture but does anyone really worry if a film with this cast and this story is going to be able to sell? It doesn’t even have to be a hit to be generally successful.

    • Jason Richards

      It’s easy for you to say that because it’s not your money that’s invested into this project. There’s no guarantee this thing is going to make over a 150 million dollars let a lone 300.

  • http://www.pcass.co.uk Andrew Shaw

    There were actually giants in Noah’s time, it’s all there in the text, so I’d say it’s probably MORE accurate to the original story. It’s just not the cutesy story we get told as kids.

    • Merlin235

      Hey right on. I’m glad someone pointed that out. Gold star for you!

  • The Flobbit

    C’mon Darren. When the audience doesn’t like something, you change it.

    • chaos…reigns

      Why assume these samplings know anything though? Also, why give the audience the ultimate power on tastemaking?

      • The Flobbit

        Because it is the audience that forks out the bucks to pay the movie and put a paycheck in Darren’s pocket. A disgruntled customer (or moviegoer) will complain to an average of 16 people, and online a whole lot more.

      • Roy Batty

        Fuck you and fuck your wiki definition of what 16 AVERAGE dumbshits have to say about an auteur version of NOAH. Movies like this aren’t made for soccer moms and corporate dads to enjoy. You don’t hire Darren to make a boring, by the numbers movie. Who cares what they think. What do u think this is, Evan Almighty the Sequel? Get a clue, MORON,

      • The Flobbit

        Wow, overreacting much? First of all, people who go to movies are not dumbshits. Second, movies ARE made for ordinary people to enjoy, IDIOT, since ordinary people are the ones who fork out their hard earned money to buy tickets. No ordinary people go, you get a movie like The Master – a huge commercial underachiever. And Paramount cannot afford an underachiever with $130,000,000 on the table.

        Third, nobody hired Darren. He made the movie himself, and Paramount was good enough to finance it. Who cares what they think? Darren, in his own words, is “worried”. Go onto IMdB for what critics who caught advanced screenings saw and said: humorless, dry, overlong, hard to identify with, thinly sketched characters, overly gritty, cartoony, unbelievable, decently acted, very little joy or wonder, stretching of disbelief.

        I have hope for this movie, but it’s not looking good. The only MORON who needs to get a clue is, oh, YOU. Stop freaking out, Roy Batty.

      • Nerdgasm

        Both of you are Ridiculous. Roy Batty stop acting like Aronofsky is the second coming. He isn’t a DEEP movie maker. He made some compelling movies but they aren’t mind blowing or philosophical by any means so stop acting like you watch SMART MOVIES and the average movie goer doesn’t watch the movies you WATCH. And FLOBBIT… you must not know how this movie got made. They did hire him. He took the script to them cause he couldn’t finance the movie himself. What do you call financing the script? they are his bosses. He wanted them to do the script so they bought the script but in the contract [as is with most writing director combos] it states that if they buy the script that they take him on as director.

      • The Flobbit

        Nerdgasm, Aronofsky tends to be massively overrated, but the gritty edginess of Pi, combined with the camerwork of Requiem for a Dream, combined with the utter genius and beauty of The Fountain make him someone to watch in my book.

        But you are wrong about him being hired, because being hired implies that he could be fired, and he cannot be fired because it is his film and he has creative sway over it. And I am sure he could have gotten desperate, pulled a Fountain on us, gone to another studio, made major cuts, dropped a bunch of stars, and made it anyways.

      • chaos…reigns

        Aronofsky is fortunately not some sort of journeyman though. Customer is always right mentalities don’t really apply to the world of art.

      • Andrew

        Yeah, but what if all three audiences have DIFFERENT problems with the film? What if the atheists feel that the film is too religious? What if the Christians feel that the film veers too far from scripture?

      • The Flobbit

        So? What’s your point?

      • Andrew

        The point is that we don’t know what the supposed problems of the film were and we don’t know if each audience had different problems. And, if they did, how do you change a film to accommodate very different tastes? What if one audience member said there should be more of one plot and another said that there should be less of the same plot? What do you do then?

      • The Flobbit

        Every film has an age and class demographic. You aim for that demographic that will give you the most satisfaction and cater to them. That is what makes a box office success.

      • Andrew

        That’s fine for smaller films, but this is a tentpole, which means it has to reach many different audiences. There is no one demographic that it should hit, which explains why Paramount chose three different religious demographics to screen the film to. If you change something for one audience, you might be pissing off another.

      • The Flobbit

        Then change something for the biggest audience and piss off the smallest one. That’s what Transformers did.

      • Andrew

        “That’s what Transformers did” shouldn’t be the maxim of all filmmakers and studios. Dumbing down the film to the lowest common denominator might work for a film about giant robots and marketed as a toy commercial, but it would hurt this film’s brand, considering that that this religious epic was designed to be more spiritual and probing into human nature.

      • The Flobbit

        You can gab on all you want on how Darren Aronofsky does not cater to the masses, and how he doesn’t try to please them, just make his unadulterated vision come true, but the bottom line is, is that his films HAVE to make money.

        If they don’t, he’s screwed. He’s making films to be seen and make money. He’s not in it for the joy or experience of it, I can tell you that much.

      • Andrew

        Oh God, that wasn’t what I said at all. I actually think that films of that large a budget should not be David Lynch-style exercises in experimentation, but you can’t sell a religious film “to the masses” if you make it into Transformers. That isn’t going to play well with a religious film. These are two different types of films/brands with two different marketing demands: the only way (the ONLY WAY) a film like this is if it is actually coherent. There is no built-in audience for Noah, the only way that this film will make money is – if, like Gladiator – it has a clear vision and a sense of its own style, not evidence of grubby executives. Look at ‘The Golden Compass’ (an actually relevant comparison): it was a film that was NEVER going to play well to Christian audiences, but by trying to appease that audience they cut out a lot from the film, so it wasn’t even a good film in its own right to inspire outsider interest in the material. I am saying that your way is not going to make money for this film, it’s ‘the Golden Compass’ way (“let’s cut out this and change this and everyone will love it, right?”). It’s not about just giving Aronofsky free reign; it’s about establishing a vision that will inspire people to see it, not diluting it so that it looks like a bland ’300′ imitator (because catering to the lowest common denominator REALLY helped ‘Immortals’, right?). You have to inspire interest in the film, not mitigate disinterest through some dumb, patronizing idea of marketing a film “to the masses” (as if individuals are stupid and can’t see a clumsy, ‘The Golden Compass’-style hatchet-job when they see it). Jeez, I wouldn’t want to hear your notes for ‘Black Swan’ (‘they should cut out this weird scene and that one and give Portman a love interest because this film would NEVER make money otherwise, right?’) or ‘Gravity’ (‘they should show Houston because this weird existential film will NEVER make money, right?’) or ‘Back to the Future’ (‘cut out the incest’). Sorry, but I just don’t believe that doing something the wrong way is the answer to success because it’s based on a belief that people (oh sorry, “the masses”) are stupid.

      • The Flobbit

        You make some good points. But hey, Immortals was great! All I’m saying is that complex, hard-to-watch films like Amour or The Master, do not make tonnes of money at the box office, the reason being that PEOPLE see movies, not demographics, or critics, or whatever. PEOPLE see and pay for movies, and if they don’t want to see it, it won’t make money, and that’s not an option here for Darren Aronofsky.

      • Andrew

        I actually don’t think the film – even from a conceptual standpoint – is aiming for an modernist approach like Amour, The Master or some of Aronofsky’s other films. His take on the epic doesn’t sound all that different from other religious epics. It’s still got giant effects, it has action sequences and it has a movie star in the lead. Criticisms of the film (which has been published on the IMDb board and an script review http://godawa.com/movieblog/darren-aronofskys-noah-environmentalist-wacko/) indicate that Christians seem to have a problem with the film’s conception of the character as a dark, intense environmentalist. The Godawa review actually makes some salient arguments against that interpretation, but it isn’t about the actual style of the film itself. One Christian reviewer said he would have even liked the film as an entertainment if not for the film’s central thesis (another viewer said the film was very good but had pacing issues and needed minor tweeks in the edit bay). This isn’t a case of Aronofsky taking a big budget and delivering a fairly experimental product, but the director giving the studio what was always evident in his script. Either Paramount was negligent in greenlighting the film in the first place or they are now chickening out on a film that everyone agreed to make.

  • The Flobbit

    This looks like an epic, gritty, visually fantastical, non-canon, exciting and dark epic. It should be interesting, and I’ll give it a try, if only for Russell, Emma, and Winstone.

  • kim

    130 million is a big budget but I think they can get their money back regardless of the contents of the movie. Perks of being a wallflower made over 200 million dollars at the box office, so if they cut a trailer based around Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, they can get a lot of young people to go see the film, the movie being about a biblical story will get religious people to go (whether in support or in protest), protesting will give the film a lot of free advertising, plus Darren Aronofsky’s name attached will bring in all of his fans

    • kim

      Also once awards season comes up, if they go with Darren’s version I’m sure it will get nominated or at least some attention

    • Rush

      ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’ certainly did not make over $200million dollars at the box office. Box Office Mojo says ‘Perks’ made about $33million world wide, and just under $18million domestically.

      • The Flobbit

        Ha ha ha! Kim is a fool.

      • kim

        oh! well then Aronofsky’s fucked!

      • Gerard Kennelly

        i was so pissed off when Ezra Miller was oscar snub

  • Brian James

    I guess I am waiting for a directors cut then.

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  • Solgazer

    Leave. His film. Alone. You fucking. Hacks. These are the films Darren Aronofksy has made.
    Pi. Requiem for a Dream. The Fountain. The Wrestler. Black Swan.
    What on Earth has given the execs at Paramount the idea that they live even remotely close to the same planet as this guy when it comes to making decisions about how a movie should be structured? The only other director that can possibly be considered to exist on the same dimensional plane as Sir (TBC) Aronofsky would be Paul Thomas Anderson. And that’s it!
    If you hired a guy with Sir (TBC) Aronofkys filmography under his belt what the hell did you expect him to make?! An easy to digest film for a broad audience? Go check his filmography again you twats!
    You guys (along with everyone else apparently!) probably think that The Fountain occurs over three time periods!

    • NMphotog

      You raise very excellent points. But all I know is when my sister gives me $10 for a Subway and I mess up the order, I hear about it. People talk about film budgets like it’s nothing but the fact is $100,000,000 is A LOT OF MONEY from somebody else’s pocket.

      • Solgazer

        You are right dude. It is a lot of money. Wouldn’t that then be better spent hiring somone more likely to compromise his vision than Aronofsky?
        Messing up someones Subway order? Even when simply using it as an analogy? The devil take you sir! :)

    • Jason Richards

      They can give any criticism they want to the film, dumb ass. They’re the ones on the hook for 130 million dollars.

      • Solgazer

        Then hire someone who’ll take direction from execs! The only dumb asses here are the guys who gave $130,000,000 to a brilliant, original and unique director with the filmography I listed above and then expected him to hang all that genius up in order to take notes from (I reiterate) hacks.
        I thought I made that point pretty clear. Apparently not clear enough.

  • NMphotog

    I don’t like any of Aronofsky’s movies but I totally respect his vision. Preview screenings mean butkus. There is a very long list of movies which tested well and tanked at the box office and vice versa.

    • Solgazer

      Damn straight. Wasn’t Bladerunner altered to the crappier voiceover version due to test audiences not liking the original, more ambiguous film? Audiences are too fickle and the internet has exacerbated that and allowed that fickleness to grow. We’re not going to watch a film we want. We’re supposed to be paying to see someone elses vision. Aren’t we? Isn’t that the whole idea of going to the movies?

    • Gerard Kennelly

      the fountain -too arthouse
      Pi -too pompous
      the wrestler -70s style classic
      black swan -lesbo all about eve
      requiem for a dream -too miserable

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