Iceland - a nordic island located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge - is reported to be the most sparsely populated country located in Europe, with a geography that includes geologically-active regions, lava fields, mountains and glacial rivers flowing through the lowlands. It's no wonder that filmmakers have fallen in love with the country in recent years, using it to create imaginative settings and beautiful landscape backdrops for the Tom Cruise sci-fi blockbuster Oblivion, HBO's popular Medieval fantasy TV series Game of Thrones, and the upcoming Ben Stiller adventure tale The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, among other projects.
Next year's Noah is yet another high-profile Hollywood feature that makes ample use of the gorgeous naturalistic visuals provided free of charge by the Iceland countryside. The Biblical epic from writer/director Darren Aronofsky and co-writer Ari Handel (The Fountain) recounts the story of Noah (played by Russell Crowe), who is tormented by visions of a forthcoming apocalyptic flood. Acting on the belief that he is doing God's will, Noah begins to construct an enormous ark in order to preserve as much life as possible - in the wake of the world's new beginning.
The ruggedness and brutal nature of the ancient world setting - from Aronofsky's cinematic adaptation of the famous Book of Genesis narrative - can be observed in the Noah cast's rough and tattered clothing, from costume designer Michael Wilkinson (who also designed the outfits and costumes from 300, TRON: Legacy and Man of Steel). In lieu of actual complete footage, we have new set photos and behind-the-scenes images captured during filming on Noah - the majority of which showcase the Icelandic scenery that will be featured in the movie.
Check out the latest Noah images released online in the gallery below (for more, head on over to Filmz.ru):
IMAGES REMOVED AT STUDIO REQUEST
These images also provide another look at Anthony Hopkins as Noah's grandfather Methuselah and Crowe's A Beautiful Mind costar Jennifer Connelly as Noah's wife Naameh, in addition to highlighting the beauty of the Iceland sets and shooting locations (which is where the majority of non-studio lot filming took place). Not pictured above are cast members Logan Lerman and Emma Watson - the former Perks of Being a Wallflower costars play Noah's son and daughter-in-law - though, the man in the rain is seasoned character acting vet Ray Winstone (Snow White and the Huntsman) as the film's "antagonist" (i.e. Noah's peer, who believes he is just delusional, not prophetic).
Aronofsky has indicated that his version of the Noah's Ark story places as much emphasis on the environmental apocalypse elements as it does on the human themes of faith and redemption. For that reason, the old world setting "portrayed" by Iceland might be as much a character in the movie as the human players. That helps to explain why Aronofsky and his production team endured filming in the unaccommodating and harsh weather conditions of the country, during production on their (estimated) $130 million religious blockbuster.
We expect to have a teaser trailer for Noah to offer in the foreseeable future - but, in the meantime, how does the film look so far?
Noah opens in U.S. theaters on March 28th, 2014.