Darren Aronofsky Talks NOAH Special Effects; Says ILM Did Most Complicated Rendering in Its History on the Animals

     October 9, 2013

noah darren aronofsky

Darren Aronofsky’s biblical epic Noah has already become epic behind the scenes.  The story will focus on the familiar story of Noah and his ark, but with a more realistic bent that eschews the typical “guy in robe and sandals stands at the head of a boat flanked by zoo animals”.  The movie will have tons of special effects, and Aronofksy recently told DGA that he feels he has more control over Noah than any of his previous movies.  “Increasingly, the images are coming out of a computer,” says Aronofsky, “but that means you can change anything and have more control.”  However, he added that a large amount of preparation was required because “[you] have faith that your collaborators are going to breathe life into what you aren’t photographing. You have to trust that down the road things are going to come alive.”

Hit the jump for more including Aronofsky’s “badge of honor” when it came to creating some of the more complicated effects.  The film stars Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Kevin Durand, Martin Csokas, and Mark MargolisNoah opens March 28, 2014.

russell-crowe-noahAronofsky tells DGA Quarterly [via The Playlist] that in order to push back against the clichéd image of Noah’s story, they had to rethink the animals on the ark.  “We had to create an entire animal kingdom,” says the director.  He continued:

“We basically went through the animal kingdom and pinpointed the body types we wanted: some pachyderms, some rodents, reptiles, and the bird kingdom. We chose the species and they were brought to life with different furs and colors. We didn’t want anything fully recognizable but not completely absurd either.”

This process meant some of the most complicated rendering in the history of the effects studio, Industrial Light & Magic:

“It was a nice badge of honor,” he smiled. “I don’t think it’s the most incredible shot, but I think because of all the hair on the animals it was incredibly complicated for them. They said, ‘We can only render it two or three more times so make sure those are exactly right because they take so long and are so complex.’”

It looks like Aronofsky is completely reimagining one of history’s oldest stories, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.


  • Jeremy D

    So excited to see a trailer for this movie. I’m so curious as to how it will look.

    • Colin

      I actually saw the trailer at the Willow Creek conference in August. It was amazing. Epic in every way. Don’t like to use that word very often.

  • dungeons and draccus’s

    Really want to see this, though advance audience reviews have been mixed.

    • Jason Richards

      They’re not even half way done editing this. How would there be advance screenings?

      • Ed

        There are screenings going on, missed my chance to go to one recently but that’s okay because this early it’s probably really rough–unfinished cgi, visible green screen, wires, temp score, etc.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        You are right. Check out IMDb for more. Comments section.

  • Tyler

    As a Christian, I can’t help but wonder how much Aronofsky and crew will deviate from history in this adaptation. My guess is… a lot!

    • lordjim

      as a christian, why is that???christ himself contradicts the old testament.by the way, do you even realize that the story of noah´s ark was stolen from the gilgamesh epic, which is not only older than the bible but is also polytheistic?it´s the oldest piece of literature that we have and you can research it if you don´t believe me, but as a christian you should rather stick to the new testament anyway.but if you are looking for someone who deviates from the words of jesus christ you should start with the so called christian churches, and i mean all of them, just reread the sermont on the mount and you will find more contradictions to the churches than aronofsky could possibly put inside a two hour movie.i really don´t get all those christians who actually don´t give a fuck about their god´s words at all, an atheist is at least honest in his believes.

      • Tyler

        I refuse to get into religious discussions with others while on this site. I just commented on one article about the religious inaccuracies about a film he’s working on. I don’t care what religion you are, if any, but I strongly suggest not complaining with me about it.

      • Brenno

        you didn’t say religious inaccuracies, you said deviation from history… as though the bible perfectly describes a real historical event
        Not to mention that all lordjim was saying is that when taking into account its various source material, the bible can be viewed as religiously inaccurate itself.
        But don’t let us stop you from sticking your head in the sand

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        Christ never even MENTIONED Noah. The Epic of Gilgamesh is NOT the oldest piece of literature we have, as fragments of what would become Bible have been passed along far before that (but not compiled into a large tome). A recent discovery of pottery dated to the 10th Century BC showed distinctly Hebrew inscriptions, showing that the Hebrew kingdom existed that far down. A NON Christian professor told a NON Christian magazine “At least some of the biblical texts were written hundreds of years before the dates presented in current research.”

        Some scholars believe (I am still on the fence) that the Book of Enoch – research it if you will – is the oldest surviving piece of written language, and some say that Enoch invented the first language, and therefore these words would be the first piece of written language ever written: “The words of the blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect and righteous, who will be living in the day of tribulation, when all the wicked and godless are to be removed”

        Interesting but non canonical.

        Do you find it interesting that every culture on earth -from China to South America to the Inuit to Egypt to Greece to Babylon – has a worldwide flood myth – usually in which a man (directed by a god) builds a big boat, in which he puts all the animals. The world floods, everybody dies, and the 8 people in the boat repopulate the world.

        It seems to me that the Bible was not copying the Epic of Gilgamesh, but rather the other way around. Hey, I’m sorry for the rant and long post, but yeah.

      • WRONG

        Epic of Gilgamesh is from 18th century BC, and Book of Enoch is “only” 1500 years younger – from 300 BC. So please take that “facts” of yours and check them again.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        Please prove these facts of yours before you make sweeping statements. I want: references, quotations, timelines, and unbiased material. Go on, go. I won’t take info from a pseudo-intellectual like you until you do.

      • lordjim

        of course christ never mentioned noah, so i am surprised why a christian would have a problem with this movie being made, but some people are strange considering that people died in france because christian fundamentalists set cinemas on fire for showing “the last temptation of christ”.and 10th century bc doesn´t make the slightest difference, both the book of enoch and the book of gilgamesh are from the 24th century before christ, of course you could argue which one was the first, but they certainly predate everything in the bible.i don´t even understand how anybody could come to the idea epic of gilgamesh was copying the bible.

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

        Don’t be a dick, you know what he means. When people think of Noah and the Ark they’re not thinking of some Gilgamesh epic.

    • Brenno

      not sure if srs or just trolling…
      Please tell me you don’t genuinely believe there was a 600 year old bloke who built an ark that held ALL the world’s creatures because god told him he’d flood the joint. I get the whole religious thing…but how can you really believe something like that actually occured…
      Not to mention that like lordjim said, there are direct correlations between genesis and mesopotamian/near eastern myths…which predate the bible in existance

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        You clearly have no idea how old the Bible is. The Bible is the oldest surviving book written. And who says Noah held ALL the world’s creatures? Do you find it strange that EVERY SINGLE ANCIENT CULTURE ON EARTH has a world-wide flood myth, most of which include a man taking all the animals, putting them in a boat, and repopulating the world?

        There is too much in common for this to be a lie. You are an idiot if you think that the world was the same back then as it was now. That’s just unscientific. Things were different back then and the truth is, we don’t really know what happened. The Bible just shows a very likely possibility.

      • Brenno

        ah, no, on pretty much everything you just wrote

      • NEO

        Of course its a no, but you cant reason with christians, if you can reason with them, they wouldnt be christians.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        You poor sad, ignorant little wretch.

      • mbmarquis69

        How very Christian.

      • mbmarquis69

        How very Christian.

      • joeybot

        Well, the Bible said two of EACH animal, not SOME animals. And even more of the clean ones.

        Man always has the same basic myths because we’re all wired in the same basic way. All cultures have a God. But then if there was GOD, then why do all cultures have such drasitcally different Gods?

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        That’s what God said, but when you’re pressed for time you take two of only the animals you can find, and let them evolve into the animals we have now.

      • scott

        I was thinking about this earlier today… think about what you just wrote as ‘proof’ of the flood. According to the Bible, EVERYONE was killed in the flood with the exception of Noah’s family… EVERYONE. That was the whole point. So if the Bible is true… how is it that ‘EVERY SINGLE ANCIENT CULTURE ON EARTH’ has a world-wide flood myth… there was one boat with one family surviving… but you use the accounts from around the world (none of which dates match up and are all local floods) to ‘prove’ the flood happened as it said in the Bible.

      • Northern Star

        Well I for one absolutely believe the Bible to be true and accurate in every detail… it’s called faith baby! And how exactly did Jesus contradict the Old Testament, the entire expanse of his life is predicted in that book over THREE HUNDRED times…!?

        And if you want to know whether Noah really built the Ark then go to Mount Ararat on the Turkish-Iranian border, because the ENTIRE Ark is up there still intact (although broken in two main pieces due to glacier movements at that height)!

        The so-called Old Testament predates all known recorded history so yeah, I do genuinely believe it… every jot and tittle of it!

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        Thanks for pointing the obvious out. People have not only photographed the ark, but also it’s anchors and ballast. But name the 300 times Jesus contradicted the old testament. I have NEVER heard that, not even from atheists.

        I HAVE heard of the hundreds of prophecies FULFILLED in Jesus…

      • Northern Star

        That’s what I meant, d & d dude, I meant that Jesus’ life was predicted in it’s entirety over three hundred times in the so-called OT… sorry if I wasn’t clear, I was responding to Brenno who said Jesus contradicted the OT and I replied that not only did he NOT contradict it, those Scriptures were all about Him… “they are those that speak of Me”…

        The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed…

        Don’t ya just love a good old-fashioned internet flame war when it gets goin’, by gum it’s been a while… whoo-hoo!

      • Brenno

        just to clarify guys, I was refering to the flood section of genesis, and how it was derived from the mesopotanian myths which pre-date it. Never mentioned anything about Jesus Christ.
        Anyway fellas, religious arguments can get ugly (especially with someone like d & d opposite me), so I’ll punch the eject button at this point. Live laugh love :)

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        OK, glad to clear that up. And no, I do not like flame wars, especially over religion. I prefer civil, factual discussions.

      • Brenno

        call me crazy, but here i was thinking that geneiss came about in 5-6th century BC. The mesopotamian myths (eg Epic of Gilgamesh) pre-dates that by centuries….have any of you guys actually done some objective research on this stuff outside of bible studies?
        but flame on I guess lol

      • NEO

        No they didnt. Christians dont do research, they have Bible, it tells them everything. There is no such thing as christian scientist its an oxymoron.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        The sheer ignorance of your comment astounds me. Scientists who believed in God:

        William of Ockham – Ockham’s Razor
        Isaac Newton – gravity, calculus
        Nicholas Copernicus – suncentric universe
        Francis Bacon – pioneer of temperature
        Johannes Kepler – elliptic movement of planets
        Galileo Galilei – discoverer of Jupiter
        Rene Descartes – philosopher, free thinker
        Robert Boyle – Boyle’s law of gases
        Gregor Mendel – Founder of Genetics
        Lord Kelvin – inventor Kelvin’s scale
        Joseph Priestley – discovered oxygen
        Max Planck – quantum theory

        Nobel Prize Winners:
        Albert Einstein
        Max Planck
        Erwin Schrodinger
        Werner Heisenberg
        Robert Millikan
        Charles Hard Townes
        Arthur Schawlow
        William D. Phillips
        William H. Bragg
        Guglielmo Marconi
        Arthur Compton
        Arno Penzias
        Nevill Mott
        Isidor Isaac Rabi
        Antony Hewish
        Joseph H. Taylor, Jr
        Alexis Carrel
        John Eccles
        Joseph Murray
        Ernst Chain
        George Wald
        Ronald Ross
        Derek Barton
        Christian Anfinsen
        Walter Kohn
        Richard Smalley

        And that’s just Nobel prizes in Physics, not counting literature and peace prizes. Over 60 god believers have won the highest prizes in physics, literature, peace, chemistry, and more.

      • lordjim

        excuse me, i´m not going to talk or even research every single of your scientists, i´m not even an atheist rather an agnostic, but i can assure you that neither einstein, schrödinger nor heisenberg believed in the christian or jewish god of the bible, when it comes to the bible i recommend “the history of god” by karen armstrong, the books of the old testament were not written in a monotheistic time and it´s quite clear that they don´t even refer to the same god,even his names and intentions differ,the idea of a single god evolved over time in this region and was predated by aristotle whos writings had a huge influence on christian philosophy by the way.i don´t mind if you are a christian (i rather think of him as a jewish prophet who never intented to invent christianity and who should be given back to the jews) but your idea that the bible or even the story of noah predates the gilgamesh epic is much too far out for me, and reminds me creationists that claim dinosaur bones have been buried by god to test our believe, i´d rather believe there actually was a flood than this.greetings.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        Before I read any more, Einstein did not believe in the God of the Bible, but recognized the impossibility of a self-created universe. He believed in a pantheistic God that was in things – the god theory put forth by Baruch Spinoza. I too believe, that maybe God doesn’t do things…maybe he is IN things. Maybe he is the force that drives the universe. The noblest thing we can say is that we don’t know. We just don’t. Christians can’t prove it for you, and atheists can’t prove it to the 85% of people who believe in a higher power.

        Aristotle was not a Jew, and that theory is silly. Yes, the books of the old testament were not mono-theistic, but the mono-theistic God has survived through it all, and will survive till the end of time.

        I have never heard of Dinosaur bones being buried by God, and that sounds absolutely silly. As to believing in a flood, get on the proverbial boat. Even non-Creationist scientists are realizing that there is ample evidence for a world-wide flood, from glaciers, to the grand canyon, to the formation of islands. Creationists and evolutionists agree on a lot more than they might think: ice ages, dinosaurs, cave men, early civilisation, pangea, and more.

      • Heyitsmeitsmeitsme

        I have female and male parts!!!!

      • lordjim

        i didn´t say i couldn´t believe in a flood my point was that i cannot believe that the bible was written before the epic of gilgamesh.what theory is silly, if you don´t believe that aristotle had a huge impact on christian philosophy you should read thomas aquin, but i admit that it was besides the point, but the monotheistic god is neither a jewish nor a christian invention, and the jewish god turned into a monotheistic god because he was not only jelaous of the other gods but ordered his believers to burn the temples of the others, before this they had a quite peaceful polytheistic community the one god who evolved into a monotheistic god was actually a god of war.again i am not an atheist and rather agree with your first paragraph, you might enjoy german idealism.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        Who cares when the Bible was WRITTEN? It was passed along by word-of-mouth – an ancient, sacred, and, according to scholars, surprisingly accurate tradition.

        The God of the Hebrews back then was a jealous, wrathful, badass god. And no, he was not the only god – and don’t let Christians tell you otherwise. He says he was the greatest god, which apparently is true.

        He is the most worshipped deity in history. The civilizations who worshipped him are the most powerful and stable on earth. Look at the Jews now – they pretty much rule the world. Believing in God is more than just religion. It makes you powerful.

      • lordjim

        most jews aren´t even orthodox, they don´t pray to no deity so don´t be ridiculous.the rich and powerful countries are the ones where religion is dying the most while it´s the poor and uneducated countries that are the most religious.every poor powerless village in africa has stronger faith than the western world.but if you think that believing in god gives you wordly power you haven´t even understood christ, you should actually try to read the new testament.

    • dungeons and draccus’s

      As an answer to your question: The world is barren and lifeless (like Iceland). Noah is given a seed from the garden of Eden by Methuselah that grows a forest within seconds for the ark. The Nephilim, known as watchers, fell to earth from heaven long ago, and became covered in rocks. They are huge, six-limbed, winged, and help Noah build the ark. The animals come, and Noah puts them all to sleep by burning a special herb.

      He tries to kill his unborn child in the womb because he mistakenly thinks God wants all humanity dead. People are calling it grim, beautifully looking, unbelievable, humorless, and dark. I still want to see it.

    • Norrtron

      History? Lol. They will probably deviate from the original “fiction” though.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        You have your beliefs, and I have mine. Do not ever call the other a fiction, because you can never prove yours, just as I cannot prove mine for you. I choose to believe what I do because I think that a loving being who is watching out for us in an ordered universe is a better existence than believing in that we are alone and futile on a cold, dead, empty ball of water, carbon, and earth.

    • joeybot

      I think by making the movie at all, they’re really deviating from history.


  • Pingback: Director Darren Aronofsky talks NOAH – The most complex animal special effects ever | Welcome to The Movies()

  • CatheyBarrett

    Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. b­ℴ­w­6­.­ℂ­o­m

  • Reijanrobo

    I saw an advanced screening it was pretty entertaining. After reluctantly growing up in a Christian household I was afraid it was going to be preachy. Instead it took advantage of the mysteries of the old world, almost taking into account that the story we know now is just an interpretation of what really happened. I absolutely loved the film for doing that. Cannot wait to see it again.

  • I Can Wait

    Despite being a fan of Aronofsky, I don’t relish the idea of sitting in a theater with 100 evangelical Christians. I pretty much avoid that crowd at all costs. So I’ll wait for the DVD.

    • lordjim

      take a trip to europe, we have our loonies too, but that specific crowd won´t bother you here.

  • Pingback: NOAH Footage. Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH Stars Russell Crowe | Collider()