Burning Question: Will Christian Moviegoers Float 'Noah's' Boat?
Russell Crowe in 'Noah' (Photo: Paramount Pictures)
Is it true that Russell's Crowe's upcoming Noah film veers substantially from the Biblical story? If so, does the movie stand a chance?
You mean is it dead in the water? Sorry. I had to go there. Don't flood me with hate mail. OK! OK! I'll stop now!
Director Darren Aronofsky has said that he hopes his telling of the great deluge will offer something for everyone. "Noah," which opens March 28, does, in fact, depict vignettes straight from the Bible, including a scene in which Noah goes on a wine-fueled bender. The director also paid close attention to detail, such as the precise shape of the ark, and whether the doors of the ark could be closed by anyone other than God.
But Aronofsky also broadens the $125 million tale in a way that isn't sitting well with some Christian groups. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter recently, the filmmaker said, "For people who are very literal-minded, it would be great to communicate that the themes of the film are very much in line with the themes of the Bible — ideas about hope, second chances and family. If they allow that, they're going to have an incredible experience with the movie. If they don't allow it, it's theirs to lose."
For example, Crowe's Noah now reportedly dwells on modern-ish concerns such as environmentalism and overpopulation — issues that, according to some Christian marketers, aren't exactly canon.
And that could be a problem for millions of potential consumers, says brand strategist Chris Stone of the group Faith Driven Consumer, the same organization behind the I Stand With Phil campaign in support of the controversial "Duck Dynasty star. This week, the group released a survey of more than 5,000 Christians. The survey asked whether they would be "satisfied with a biblically themed movie – designed to appeal to you — which replaces the Bible's core message with one created by Hollywood."