In November of 2006, when I interviewed Darren Aronofsky for the US release of The Fountain, he dropped a little bomb. Asked about his next project, he said he was working on “a biblical epic.” That turned out to be a new take on the tale of Noah and the flood, and it has been a project in various stages of development ever since.
Now there is a report that Darren Aronofsky has put together a package for Noah that has John Logan rewriting Aronofsky’s own script, New Regency thinking of co-financing, and several studios looking at proving the rest of the cash. With Black Swan recently crossing the $300m line worldwide, there may be no better time than now to get an ambitious project like Noah off the ground, and it looks like he’s seizing the chance.
Deadline says that Paramount, Fox and Summit are possible co-financers for the “big fantasy epic” that would re-tell the story of Noah, the Ark and the flood.
This would be the culmination of an idea that began when, in 7th grade, the director wrote an award-winning poem about Noah. The idea of making a film out of the story gestated for years, and really started to bloom after The Fountain was done. In 2008 we heard that it might become a graphic novel first, the better to sell the idea to studios, and earlier this year more news of that project emerged. (The header image for this article comes from the comic art.)
The project has been described as a very R-rated film, which accounts for part of the reason that studios have been reluctant to write a large check. But if anything proved that Darren Aronofsky could deliver a return with edgy, R-rated material, it is Black Swan. So he might now get to make the film described earlier this year:
[He was the] first environmentalist. [The] first person to plant vineyards, drink wine and get drunk. I was stunned going back and realizing how dirty some of those stories are. They’re not PG in any way. They’re all about sleeping with your brother’s sister who gives you a child who you don’t know. That kind of stuff got censored out of our religious upbringing.
There’s also this older quote:
It’s the end of the world and it’s the second most famous ship after the Titanic. So I’m not sure why any studio won’t want to make it. I think it’s really timely because it’s about environmental apocalypse which is the biggest theme, for me, right now for what’s going on on this planet. So I think it’s got these big, big themes that connect with us.
No deal is done yet, but this is a good indicator that things are moving along. And, if you’ve been following closely, you may remember a recent report about Aronofsky being sought to direct Exodus, aka Moses. That was happening, but it looks like the chance to make Noah might be now, and if so, that’s what will happen.