The first trailer for Darren Aronofsky's biblical epic Noah won't be officially revealed until tomorrow, but the film has already been making waves. Noah reportedly received troubling feedback after test screenings with audiences from various religious backgrounds, and Aronofsky is said to have been resistant to the changes Paramount wanted him to make in the light of those reactions.
All this, of course, only makes the prospect of seeing a trailer for this controversial adaptation even more appealing. In keeping with the current trend, Paramount is teasing tomorrow's reveal with a couple of very short previews, though the hype effect of these is dampened somewhat by the fact that the trailer was recently leaked online and a lot of people have already seen it, albeit a slightly fuzzy bootleg version.
Despite the aforementioned ill omens, the new preview from ET Online does show a lot of promise, not the least of which is the talent involved. Russell Crowe stars as the eponymous patriarch who receives a message from God in the form of a vision of "death by water," while Jennifer Connelly plays his wife, Naameh, and Anthony Hopkins puts on his exposition hat as wise old Methusaleh. Meanwhile, Noah's children are played by Emma Watson (Harry Potter), Douglas Booth (Romeo and Juliet) and Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief).
For Noah, Aronofsky once again teamed up with cinematographer Matthew Libatique (who has worked on all of Aronofsky's films, with the exception of The Wrestler), and Noah certainly looks very pretty. Since Noah's entire menagerie was created without using a single live animal, Industrial Light & Magic had to create some immensely complex digital effects shots in order to bring them all together, and some of the shots of the flooding - from the first raindrop to the world-encompassing ocean - look very impressive. The latter is also the subject of a new poster for Noah, in which the waters are shown rising to cover the last few peaks of exposed land.
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While the story of Noah's ark might be the best known of the many variants of the "flood myth," it's also open to a lot of interpretation and creative license, and descriptions of the plot so far suggest that Aronofsky has very much made it his own. For example, Noah will have a primary antagonist in the form of a barbaric warlord (Ray Winstone) who isn't keen to easily accept his fate of being drowned for his sins. These might better be described as embellishments rather than changes, however, as the version of the story in the Bible is only a couple of thousand words long and doesn't go into detail about what Noah and his family actually did during their year at sea.
If Noah really is as provocative as the reactions from test audiences seem to suggest, that could actually be a positive thing. After all, the last thing a movie about a worldwide flood sent forth by God's wrath should be is boring.
Noah opens in theaters on March 28th, 2014.
Source: ET Online, CBM