Darren Aronofsky’s Noah began making waves (pun!) from the moment the filmmaker announced his intention to see the project through to the end. However, this version of the Noah’s Ark story isn’t so much a purist adaptation of the tale as presented in the Bible (or even other ancient flood myths), but a cinematic treatment of the graphic novel that Aronofsky co-wrote with Ari Handel – his collaborator on The Fountain comic book (and subsequent movie adaptation) – based on Aronofsky’s older script draft.
Noah takes place in a brutal and savage world, one where the surviving remnants of the human race are constantly at war and much of the land has been devastated. Indeed, it’s not altogether clear when the film takes place, as costar Emma Watson (Harry Potter) has even argued in the past that (with regard to Aronofsky’s cinematic vision of a post-apocalyptic world) “It could be set in any time. It could be set sort of like a thousand years in the future or a thousand years in the past… You shouldn’t be able to place it too much.”
The U.S. trailer for Noah offers a glimpse at that world right before God unleashes a devastating flood as a means of tidying up (in the most extreme meaning of the phrase), as does a newly-unveiled international preview of the movie. Arguably, the latest promo is an improvement on its predecessors, in part because the shorter running time allows it to condense the most evocative imagery from the film, especially in the beginning where we get pounded with striking visuals in that erratic style that editor Andrew Weisblum used to great effect on Black Swan.
Aronofsky’s film has (no surprise) already rubbed test audiences from different religious backgrounds the wrong way, not least of all because Noah (played by Russell Crowe) is portrayed as being a real man of the earth (read: a nature-loving hippie), living in a time where fantastical beasts roam the Earth and human barbarians conquer everything they can get their hands on. We shall have to wait and see if the actual movie proves to be worthy of all the attention that it’s gotten, but at the least Noah seems to be genuinely deserving of the term “epic.”
Noah opens in U.S. theaters on March 28th, 2014.