Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky is finally making an expensive cinematic epic, after having tried (and having failed) to do so with his original vision for The Fountain (followed several years later by his departure from the X-Men film The Wolverine).
The project in question is Noah, a retelling of the Noah's Ark story - based on the graphic novel written by Aronofsky and illustrated by Nico Henrichon - that the filmmaker is assembling, with the intention of creating a Biblical blockbuster that's as viscerally-powerful and emotionally-brutal as the original tale featured in the Book of Genesis. Russell Crowe is playing Noah, alongside his A Beautiful Mind costar Jennifer Connelly as Noah's wife, Naameh.
Rounding out the main cast of Aronofsky's Noah film are Emma Watson as Noah's daughter-in-law Ila, Watson's The Perks of Being a Wallflower costar Logan Lerman as Noah's son, Ham, Anthony Hopkins as Noah's grandfather Methuselah (who is traditionally close to a millennium-old in the story), and Ray Winstone (Snow White and the Huntsman) as a character written specifically for Aronofsky's retelling; who, in the story, opposes Noah's decision to build an enormous ark, as he believes the act to be a form of madness (rather than the will of God).
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We actually got our first look at Crowe as Noah almost a year ago, back when Aronofsky was shooting on location around Iceland. The ragged costumes and ratty hairstyles boasted by the rest of the cast is in keeping with Crowe's grizzled appearance, as well as the generally harsh and miserable nature of the film's ancient world setting.
Noah depicts a world that has been ruined, thanks to large expanses of humankind committing barbaric acts against one another (and the Earth) in their relentless campaigns to conquer and claim what they can for themselves. Because of that, Aronofsky has referred to Noah as being "the first environmentalist" and promised that his version of the story will not exclude the less savory portions of the Biblical source material (like, Noah's propensity for getting drunk on wine).
That said, don't expect the film to feature quite the same amount of nightmarish imagery and adult content as, say, Black Swan; something closer to The Fountain is to be expected, tonally-speaking.
Noah opens in U.S. theaters on March 28th, 2014.