Darren Aronoksy's NOAH is going to be Mad Max on a boat

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The upcoming Noah adaptation that director Darren Aronofsky is working on, is a story that has been told many times before on screen. God gets angry, drowns humanity, while Noah cruises the oceans for a month and a half with his menagerie of animals that somehow avoid turning his ark into the worlds largest floating manure farm.

Kinda boring when you’ve seen it all before, we’re saying. Except the Aronofsky Noah is less of a glorified zookeeper, and more of an action hero inspired by Mad Max.

So a rugged Noah dealing with “eleven-foot-tall fallen angels with six arms and no wings”, may sound kind of cool in a sacrilegious way, but that’s pretty much how they’re actually described in the bible, and how they appear, in the original comic that Aronofsky co-created with producer Ari Handel and artist Nico Henrichon.

Movies.com’s Peter S. Hall put together some speculative data from those books, starting with a synopsis from publisher Le Lombard:

His name is Noah. Far from the stereotype of the patriarch that one appends the character of the Bible, he looked like a warrior.  He looks like a Mad Max out of the depths of time.

In the world of Noah, pity has no place. He lives with his wife and three children in a land barren and hostile, in the grip of severe drought. A world marked by violence and barbarism, delivered to the savagery of the clans that draw their reason to survive from war and cruelty.

But Noah is like no other. This is a fighter and also a healer. He is subject to visions which announce the imminent end of the earth, swallowed by the waves of an endless deluge.

Noah must notify his followers. If man is to survive, he must end the suffering inflicted on the planet and “treat the world with mercy”. However, no one is listening.

The tyrant Akkad, who Noah went to visit in the city of Bal-llim, chased him and sentenced him to flee. After consulting with his grandfather Methuselah, Noah decided to rally to his cause the terrible Giants and accomplish the task entrusted to him by the Creator…

I would have totally paid attention in Sunday School if we had been read stories like that. Moving on, HitFix’s Drew McWeeny actually read the script, which has been described as bringing the full impact back to the flood that is unleashed on the world, highlighting the horror of the massive wettening that follows;

I don’t care how many Bible stories or translations you’ve read, and I don’t care how many films based on those stories you’ve seen. You have never seen anything like what Darren Aronofsky has planned for “Noah.”

Sure, the basic broad strokes of the story are pretty evident. Noah (Russell Crowe) hears the voice of God warning him that the world cannot be allowed to survive in the corrupted, ruined form Noah sees around him.

It is a violent, freaky, scary world that Aronofsky and his co-writer Ari Handel have created. I’m particularly excited to see how Aronofsky brings to life the Watchers, eleven-foot-tall fallen angels with six arms and no wings.

They have a major presence in the script, and they’re fascinating. Early on, when Noah needs to go see his grandfather, he has to move through the homeland of the Watchers, something that is not easy to do.

[…]

There is a sincerity from the very first page that will make it hard for people to argue with Aronofsky’s intent here. He’s written this as a serious look at our place on this planet and our rights as citizens of the world.

I think it would be hard to pin this version of the story down to any one faith, and in shaking off the dusty respectability of the accepted version of the story, Aronofsky and Handler may have actually found a way to give it a stronger thematic resonance than I would have imagined.

I’m pretty much sold on the film now. Russell Crowe fighting the world, while attempting to save it, in a post-apocalyptic setting, mixing Mad Max with Avatar eco-themes? That’s just genius to me.

Last Updated: July 12, 2012

Darryn Bonthuys

Word-slinger at Critical Hit. Inventor of the macho Swiss gym chocolate known as Testoblerone. That's...that's about it really.

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