Filming is ongoing for Noah, Darren Aronofsky’s massive treatment of the Noah’s Ark story from Book of Genesis. The high-art production isn’t complete without an equally-prestigious cast, which Noah has in the form of Russell Crowe as the protagonist, Jennifer Connelly as Noah’s loyal wife, Ray Winstone as his “enemy,” Anthony Hopkins as his (almost) millennium-old grandfather, and Emma Watson as his daughter-in-law.
The first official image from Noah has popped up online, with Crowe sporting long scraggly hair, a grey-speckled beard, and a downtrodden expression that alludes to the weightiness of his task (serving as God’s prophet during a watery apocalypse). That’s in keeping with the character’s portrayal in Aronofsky and Ari Handel’s graphic novel source for the project.
Aronofsky has been teasing his Twitter followers with photos taken from the Noah shoot, which is currently underway in Iceland. Those image offerings include glimpses at the stony landmarks, chilling oceans, and stormy skies that are being photographed as backgrounds for the non-Ark oriented portions of the film (along with the central Ark set piece, being constructed in New York).
Check all that out, below:
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Here is a synopsis for Aronofsky’s film:
NOAH is a close adaptation of the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark. In a world ravaged by human sin, Noah is given a divine mission: to build an Ark to save creation from the coming flood. The screenplay was written by Aronofsky and Ari Handel and revised by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter John Logan (GLADIATOR, HUGO).
It’s never too early for controversy – when it comes to Hollywood adaptations of religious subject matter – and Aronofsky has already courted his fair share with comments about how he views Noah as “the first environmentalist.” Moreover, the idea that Crowe needs an opponent has left many scratching their heads; however, Winstone’s character sounds more like the embodiment of all doubt and disbelief plaguing Noah (externally and internally) while he is performing his God-sent orders.
Aronofsky’s interest in the theme of environmental apocalypse has prompted premature accusations that Noah distorts the Biblical story’s lessons about faith and human redemption into (essentially) heavy-handed allegory for pollution. However, one look at the trailer for Aronofsky and Handel’s original graphic novel (see below) suggests the story has much more of a barbaric, Old Testament-vibe when it comes to the portrayal of “a world ravaged by human sin.”
Noah reunites Aronofsky with director of photography Matthew Libatique (The Fountain, Black Swan), while also employing the services of set decorator Debra Schutt (the Boardwalk Empire pilot), visual effects supervisor Ben Snow (Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Terminator: Salvation), and animation supervisor Marc Chu (Iron Man 2, Avengers). That alone guarantees the film will be as gorgeous as its comic book counterpart – no matter how receptive (or not) the masses are to to the rest of Aronofsky’s interpretation.
Look for Noah to arrive in theaters on March 28th, 2014.