These pics are really frightening. He looks like a neo-Nazi.
Noah is a movie that I've been really excited for and curious about, so when I got the chance to read the screenplay, I jumped at it. So, I've read it, and not I'm going to share some thoughts while trying to spoil as little as possible (and yes, there are things that would be considered "spoilers").
I guess the biggest question people would ask would probably be "Is this a revisionist/sci-fi/apocalyptic take on the Noah story?" and the answer is, not really. By and large, it's a devout and serious, if unconventional Biblical epic. The broad strokes of the story are there, and there aren't really any attempts to deconstruct or pick apart the scripture. The story accepts God as a given, and things that can only be described as miracles do occur, but there isn't any attempt to portray the story as "true history". It basically tells the story from the Bible as a story from the Bible, even down to using specific verses as title cards, but it's way of telling the story from a down-to-Earth perspective reminds me most of The Last Temptation of Christ.
Of course, given that the story of Noah barely lasts over 100 verses in Genesis, Aronofsky had to invent some plot developments and characters, most notably the character of Akkad (The character's name may have been changed in subsequent drafts by John Logan, but he's the character played by Ray Winstone), a wicked king who at first laughs off Noah's predictions of disaster and later tries to take the Ark by force. Other inventions include much of Noah's relationship with his sons, the inclusion of Methuselah, and one other thing I'll mention later.
The other major question would probably be, "is this going to make religious people upset?". Well, probably, yes. It's going to ruffle a few feathers for various reasons. As I mentioned earlier, it's a devout, but unconventional take on the material similar to Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ, and while I don't see how it could create as much of a controversy as that movie, there are some things that I don't think religious people would like:
1. The characterization of Noah. He's turned into a sort of mystic here and most assuredly a badass who can more than handle himself in a big battle. He isn't spoken to directly by God (called The Creator in this movie), but instead sees visions of great rains and floods (not dissimilar to Michael Shannon in Take Shelter) that will destroy the Earth due to the wickedness of humanity and their disrespect for nature. The obvious environmentalist aspect of this could generate some controversy, but I'm not too worried about that as much as the other stuff, most notably Noah's internal conflict about whether or not he thinks humanity (through his family) is worth saving. The nature of man and whether or not he is inherently murderous and wicked is a powerful recurring theme in the movie, and Noah's perspective on it is likely to make a few people upset, especially considering the drastic measures he prepares to take once he and his family are in the Ark.
(Russel Crowe's going to knock this role out of the park, by the way)
2. The inclusion of the Watchers. The Watchers are fallen angels, described in Aronofsky's screenplay as 18 feet tall with six arms, who descended to Earth to help guide humanity towards civilization after the Fall by sharing their knowledge of science and magic, but humanity later betrayed and tried to enslave them. Biblically, the Watchers are known as "Giants" or "Nephilim", and aren't included explicity in the story of Noah, though they probably would have been around at the same time (I'm no Biblical scholar, though, so you might wanna take that with a grain of salt). They play a considerable part in the story, and make a couple great characters, but I'm not sure how the religous folks will take their inclusion.
When the movie does come out, I'm actually going to be interested in seeing the varied reactions by the Christian and Jewish communities. I understand they look at the story of Noah differently, and I'm curious as to whether or not they'll like or dislike Aronofsky's take on it for different reasons.
Overall, though I think this is a very good screenplay. Not your typical Biblical epic, and not your typical Aronofsky movie, but it has some great imagery, really asks some tough questions, and there are action set pieces that could be really fantastic to watch on screen. There are some things I'd probably do differently, but reading the script hasn't dampened my enthusiasm for the movie one bit.
I too am really curious about this movie, because I'm a big fan of Aronofsky and I'm eager to see how a big biblical epic will be tackled today, so thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kevin! It's cool to get an understanding of what Aronofsky is going for and neat to hear that he's not tackling a revisionist deconstruction of the story. Comparisons to The Last Temptation of Christ certainly intrigue.
But wow, those Watchers will be odd to see if they retain that appearance.
Kevin, a suggestion: When you open a thread like this, make it a more general discussion about the film - moreso than one poster's review of the script or thoughts about it. Thank you.
Yes, the Nephilim were around during Noah's time. In fact, it was their influence that spawned the flood according to scripture (God growing tired of the violence and immorality he saw in the people). This has me really excited. I'm curious, judging from the script, do you think this will be an R rated film (are they focusing on the violence and sex) or is this going to retain a PG-13?
I changed the title just to include general discussion.
Actually, we already have a NOAH thread so I'm putting this in there.
BTW, has anyone posted the Winstone pic?
I'm still creaming over the idea of Crowe and Winstone in the same film
I like what I like...UGH, I can't wait to watch them promote the hell out of that movie.
Is that Winstone, wait, what? This is a viking movie?!
Well it was never going to just be a dude building a boat and throwing a bunch of animals onto it, so yeah, a villain isn't too surprising, lol.
Last five movies seen:
Chunhyang (2000) **1/2
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) **
Valhalla Rising (2009) ***1/2
Young Adult (2011) *
How I Ended This Summer (2010) *1/2