Aronofsky's Noah slated to begin production in July, released in 2013

There's been a lot of back-and-forth with director Darren Aronofsky's NOAH project, which is no surprise since it seems to be a regular thing with him.  After dropping out of WOLVERINE 2, Aronofsky seems to have shifted his focus to NOAH, a big-budget epic retelling of the Biblical story of Noah's Ark. 

However, there seems to be a lot of twists and turns to the story, making it much less a simple re-telling and more of a "re-imagined" and "exaggerated" story of NOAH, which actually makes me more optimistic for the project. 

During the latest podcast of Oscar Poker, a conversation between Sasha Stone (Awards Daily) and Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere), Wells revealed some highlights from a conversation with Aronofsky's go-to cinematographer, Matthew Libatique:

"...And he was telling me about 'Noah' and what the script is like. They're going to start shooting in July in New York and Iceland and he says it's really a good script. They're really doing the story of Noah, a very unlikely subject you might think for a cutting edge fellow like Darren Aronofsky, but that's what they're doing. It's going to be more likely a Fall 2013 release," shared Wells.

When talking about the long gestation period for the film to get underway, Wells shared this tidbit about casting and the implementaion of a villain role:

"That's the hangup right now, they haven't cast Noah yet. But it's got a guy in his 40s so it's not going to be young. It's going to be 40s. And there's a big villain part, gotta have a villain in the story of Noah," Wells added. "Someone who's saying 'Listen, don't listen to him. We're fine! We don't need to build any ark. Don't be so alarmist! Don't be so fundamentalist.' You know? One of those guys. So it sounded like a lot of fun, actually."

Originally, Christian Bale was offered the role of Noah, but turned it down due to other committments and the latest rumor is that Michael Fassbender is circling the role.  Although I think I'd prefer Bale, I think Fassbender is a great choice.  He's truly come into his own in the last few years and is a force to be reckoned with.  Also, he killed Kevin Bacon with a coin.

One more interesting bit is this translated synopsis from the graphic novel version of Noah, which Aronofsky collaborated on:

It was a world without hope, a world with no rain and no crops, dominated by warlords and their barbarian hordes. In this cruel world, Noah was a good man. Seasoned fighter, mage and healer but he only wanted peace for him and his family. Yet every night, Noah was beset by visions of an endless flood, symbolizing the destruction of all life. Gradually, he began to understand the message sent him by the Creator. He had decided to punish the men and kill them until the last. But he gave Noah a last chance to preserve life on Earth…

In an exclusive interview with Coming Soon, screenwriter John Logan (GLADIATOR, THE LAST SAMURAI, HUGO) talked about working with Aronofsky on the project:

"I just dipped in to help a little bit because I've liked Darren's work and we just sort of talked about it and it was really fun.  It's really great," said Logan. 

He went on to say, "I think Darren's an auteur and I think he's a genuine artist," he responded when asked whether this would be Aronofsky's return to larger scale films ala the hugely underrated THE FOUNTAIN.  "I think any movie is going to be his sensibility.  What excites me about it is the revisionist idea of Darren Aronofsky doing a bible movie.  It's like, when Ridley Scott came to me with 'Gladiator' I was like, 'Your'e out of your mind.  It's a sword and sandal movie.' but we were able, all of us, to sort of to put a new gloss on an old genre.  There couldn't be a more old, tired genre that we think we know than the biblical epic.  you have those images of Charlton Heston, Cecil B. DeMille, but that's not what we're doing.  Darren's sensibility is completely modern and so thrilling because it's revisionist."

I don't know about you, but NOAH is suddenly getting...awesome. I mean, yeah, it was interesting before, but it's starting to feel like this just might be a super bad ass movie, which isn't something you think about when you think of Noah's Ark.  I think of Sunday School cartoons with Noah rounding up a male and female animal of every species, loading them onto a boat and sailing away with a big smile on his face.

Somehow, I don't think Aronofsky's version will be like that.  Just a guess.  Keep your eyes and ears peeled for more developments, hopefully with some official casting and a start date.

Extra Tidbit: Based on what you know now, what would you rather see Aronofsky do: Wolverine 2 or Noah?



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