Not one Noah trailer but two of the first trailers for the film featuring Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly, and Anthony Hopkins debuted Wednesday, both released after a long period of secrecy.
Until this week, no footage has been released publicly from this film by director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Fighter, The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream), which re-tells the millennia-old story of the Biblical flood and Noah’s ark. Excerpts have been only shown internally or to specific audiences, including certain church conferences, in an effort to build a religious audience for the film. Today, however, rather than releasing a single Noah trailer, producers at Paramount have put two online, one intended for audiences in North America, the other one for international release. Both trailers can be viewed below.
Rather than a dry recitation of the well-known ancient story, both version of the Noah trailer showcase a special-effects driven action epic, with spectacular shots of what the book of Genesis describes as the day “all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened” (Chapter 7, Verse 11). This includes CGI shots from space(!) of the massive storm itself accumulating across the globe, as well as massive streams of water bursting from the Earth, in a literal interpretation of the scriptural account.
The faithfulness of the film to its Old Testament sources has been a point of debate for some in the religious community. While Patheos entertainment writer Peter Chattaway is intrigued by the film, saying that the script uses the character of Methusaleh (played in the film by Anthon Hopkins) to provide a clear “view of God’s will,” other writers have been less charitable. Writing from a conservative viewpoint, and clearly no fan of environmentalism or scientific findings on climate change, another Christian writer, Brain Godawa, expresses contempt for the film as a metaphor for contemporary issues. Having read an older version of the script before an extensive rewrite by Gladiator scribe John Logan, Godawa dismisses Aronofsky’s version of Noah, saying he is portrayed by Russell Crowe as an “environmentalist wacko.” He is rebutted for a shallow reading of the film by Chattaway, whose closer analysis of the same early script indicates Godawa has “a big hole there in his critique of the film and the themes it develops.”
Both versions of the Noah trailer released today feature first looks at familiar Biblical characters portrayed by Hollywood actors, including not only Russell Crowe as Noah and Hopkins as Methusaleh, but also Jennifer Connelly as Noah’s wife Naameh, Logan Lerman and Douglas Booth as as Noah’s sons Ham and Shem (respectively), alongside Emma Watson as Ila. Ila’s character is not named in the Bible specifically, but from descriptions she is likely to become the wife of one of Noah’s sons, whose wives do appear in the narrative. Here she is re-teamed with Lerman, her co-star from The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
In essence, the script keeps the Genesis story intact, though it also draws upon the apocryphal Hebrew Book of Enoch, which is not included in most Christian versions of the Bible, as well as an ancient Sumerian narrative that seems to describe the same story. It is revealed to Noah through dreams that the Judeo-Christian God intends to destroy the world due to the sins (depicted in the movie as violence, murder, and bad stewardship over creation) of man, inspiring Noah to build his famous ark, a massive boat meant to save not only his family but breeding pairs of every animal species on Earth. But before the massive Deluge, the movie’s Noah is compelled to take a number of fantastic, Lord of the Rings style adventures. The protagonist must seek the wisdom of his long-lived grandfather Methusaleh by passing through the land of the Watchers, the fallen angels described in Genesis, who appear here as a six-armed giants. Then he has to deal with Ray Winstone as a threatening king (referred to as either Akkad or Tubal-Cain in the different versions of the script), leading a conquering army to threaten not only Noah and his family but the ark project itself.
Though the trailers came out today, the movie Noah, featuring Russell Crowe and Emma Watson, does not debut until March 28, 2014 in both the U.S. and the U.K, with its first release in most other countries that same weekend or slightly after.
North America Trailer:
By: Jeremy Forbing