'Noah' Featurette: Religious Leaders Defend Controversial Epic

Paramount's Noah has come under fire from certain religious leaders, but the movie has its religious fans, too. Several of them have stepped up to defend Darren Aronofsky's Bible-based epic in a new featurette crafted by Christian media speaker Phil Cooke, praising it as a "powerful," "profound," "pro-faith and pro-God" work.

Even if you're not particularly religious, the video is well worth checking out. Screenwriter Ari Handel and Noah biblical advisor John Snowden offer their insights into the making of the movie, while various Christian leaders discuss some of the major themes of the story. Check out the Noah featurette, and learn how it came to be, after the jump.

Nevertheless, not everyone was buying it. The studio found themselves criticized by some Christians who were upset that Aronofsky was taking liberties with the classic tale. Eventually, they compromised with one group by adding a disclaimer to the marketing explaining that "artistic license has been taken."

But those detractors didn't speak for all religious folks. Cooke was one of the picture's most vocal defenders, writing a lengthy blog post urging his fellow Christians to see it. It caught Paramount's attention, and the studio asked him to put together a featurette with Christian leaders discussing the movie.

The video runs about seven and a half minutes long, but about three minutes of it is just quotes from various religious leaders, set to music. Among the people featured are Focus on the Family president Jim Daly, Trinity Grace Church pastor Jon Tyson, Hollywood Prayer Network founder Karen Covell, and American Bible Society CCO Geof Morin.

[via THR]

It's worth pointing out (as Cooke has) that most of those railing against Noah haven't even seen the movie, so it'll be interesting to see how the conversation evolves once the movie actually opens this weekend. This featurette likely won't change the minds of those who are dead set against the film already, but maybe it'll convince people on the fence to give it a shot.

Noah opens March 28.