After ditching all plans for the hotly anticipated revisionist comic adaptation The Wolverine, director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan,The Wrestler) has moved on to his passion project Noah, a sprawling religious/philosophical piece that has many critics already making comparisons to his 2006 work, The Fountain. In developmental stages since 2007, Aronofsky has worked with comic book artist Nico Henrichon to visualize his ideas in graphic novel form (to be released in 2012), spurring film distributor interest in the project. Consequently, Paramount Pictures and New Regency have agreed to divide up the $130 million of budget, having all but cleared the path to initiate shooting for next spring.
Aronofsky has kept the details of Noah concealed, leaving only broad speculation for the upcoming film. However, the director has released some information on his personal take on the Biblical story and his general approach to the film:
“It’s a great script and it’s huge. And we’re starting to feel out talent. And then we’ll probably try and set it up… It’s the end of the world and it’s the second most famous ship after the Titanic. So I’m not sure why any studio won’t want to make it… It’s a really cool project and I think it’s really timely because it’s about environmental apocalypse which is the biggest theme, for me, right now for what’s going on on this planet. So I think it’s got these big, big themes that connect with us. Noah was the first environmentalist. He’s a really interesting character. Hopefully they’ll let me make it. Noah was the first person to plant vineyards and drink wine and get drunk. It’s there in the Bible – it was one of the first things he did when he reached land. There was some real survivor’s guilt going on there. He’s a dark, complicated character” [IndieWire, originally posted in /Film].
And from Deadline:
“Since I was a kid, I have been moved and inspired by the story of Noah and his family’s journey. The imaginations of countless generations have sparked this epic story of faith. It’s my hope that I can present a window into Noah’s passion and perseverance for the silver screen.” [Deadline]
Much hearsay in the film community has arisen regarding the potential for Academy Award-winning actor Christian Bale (The Fighter, The Dark Knight) to take on the titular lead role. Allegedly in talks with Aronofsky, witnessing the so-called “Jesus Bale” (nicknamed after his Biblical-esque long hair and beard combination he donned during 2010’s awards season) should be a sublime treat given the director’s history with experimental films that would augment Bale’s own enigmatic career of arthouse features (The Machinist, The New World). Nevertheless, Bale has his own fair share of projects either in production or in talks as well, including Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, Zhang Yimou’s The Flowers of War, Spike Lee’sOldboy, Michael Mann’s Gold, and Clint Eastwood’s A Star Is Born.
Aronofsky and The Fountain writer Ari Handel are set to write the “big fantasy epic” script, with screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator, The Last Samurai) at work for the rewrite. Along with the director, Scott Franklin will produce the film. While this information is all the director has given for now, expect further development to unfold in the coming months.