Now that the first trailer for next year’s Noah movie from director Darren Aronofsky is available, let the nitpicking begin. Few things bring out the critics – whether they’re defensive scriptural literalists or scoffing religious skeptics – than a Hollywood Bible epic.
For my part, I’m less interested in whether or not Noah (Russell Crowe) is wearing the right shade of sandals than if the movie seems to place this particular Bible story within God’s overall narrative of creation-fall-redemption-restoration. (As a fan of Aronofsky, director of The Fountain and Requiem for a Dream, I’m also curious to see if he’s able to put his distinctive stamp on this behemoth of a production. Alas, aside from a quick shot of watery mud squelching through Noah’s feet, much of this could pass for the work of Roland Emmerich.)
The Noah story takes place within the “fall” chapter of God’s narrative, and this trailer at least recognizes that. Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins) tells Noah that if man continues in his ways, “the creator will annihilate this world.” There’s even a villainous figure (Ray Winstone, doing his best Mickey Rourke) who seems to represent mankind at our worst.
Yet there’s also a nod to the coming redemption when one character (Emma Watson) observes that this is the “end of everything” and Noah replies, “The beginning. The beginning of everything.” Noah is, after all, one of the Bible’s most covenantal figures – the one man God reached out to, spared and promised to love through successive generations.
So count me intrigued, if a bit wary of those CGI lions and tigers and bears. How about you? What do you make of this trailer, and what do you look for in a Bible epic in general? Explicit fidelity to the details of the text? Resonance with God’s greater story? Charlton Heston? Share your thoughts below.