We'll see Noah the way its director intended; whether that's a good thing remains to be seen.
Darren Aronofsky came to loggerheads with Paramount over his biblical epic, Noah, starring Russell Crowe. The problem lay with the final cut, and the perennial battle between auteur and Hollywood studio reared its ugly head once more. But in an unlikely tale, akin to the subject matter in the film - in semblance rather than historical accuracy, at least – the director won.
The final cut is the director's, but will it be any good?
Paramount execs had previously demanded a re-cut, and made their own versions of the film due to an unsavoury reaction from U.S screeners. The religious content in the film led to unrest amongst Christian communities. Paramount wanted to please everybody. But Aronofsky, who wowed audiences with his efforts in The Wrestler and Black Swan, asserts that the cut we’ll see in cinemas is the one he intended; it’s not become anodyne or inhibited.
"They tried what they wanted to try, and eventually they came back," Aronofsky told the Hollywood Reporter. "My version of the film hasn't been tested … It's what we wrote and what was greenlighted." Religious audiences weren’t at ease with Noah getting drunk and contemplating his place on the earth. They didn’t like that he pondered how to rid the earth of humanity. The Bible story looked to be in jeopardy, even though the section featuring Noah’s alcoholic excursions is true to the book.
"My guys and I were pretty sure that because of the nature of the film and how we work, there wasn't another version," said the director. "That's what I told them … the scenes were so interconnected - if you started unwinding scenes, I just knew there would be holes. I showed it to film-maker friends, and they said the DNA was set in this film."
Noah, which reportedly face dozens of cuts before it finally landed on Aronofsky’s, is due for release in the US on 28 March, the UK on 4 April and Australia on 27 March.