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Darker, Drunker Noah Stirs Christian Controversy

Test screenings of Darren Aronofsky's upcoming biblical epic Noah, starring Russell Crowe as an intense and intoxicated Noah, haven't exactly been smooth sailing.


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By Bryan Le


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Paramount Pictures, the film studio behind the upcoming blockbuster Noah, has been attempting to make alternate versions of the movie in order to appease Christian audiences. At the test screenings - overly long cuts with almost no music, much to Aronofsky's chagrin - audiences were decidedly not pleased with the darker, drunker Noah as portrayed by Oscar winner Russell Crowe, because he seems to deviate far from the average American's perception of the biblical character.

"From a storytelling perspective, the main points are that Noah is a man of faith who is picked by God, told to build an ark, builds the ark and survives," said Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore. "Most people do not remember or were never taught the fact that after Noah's off the ark, there is a moment in the story where he is drunk."

As the studio has noted, there is a part of the bible where Noah gets drunk right after the flood. Genesis, Chapter 9 reads in part: "20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: 21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent."

But that didn't stop the studio from attempting to make its own cuts to appease the vocal Christian minority who are upset with Noah's depiction. "I was upset—of course," says Aronofsky, believing that the movie could not be cut without creating plot holes or inconsistencies. "No one's ever done that to me."

"[I wanted to create] this fantastical world a la Middle-earth that they wouldn't expect from their grandmother's Bible school," Aronofsky said, but acknowledged that he was also making the movie for people "who take this very, very seriously as gospel."

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