Darren Aronofsky wins battle over final cut of “Noah” with Paramount

Darren Aronofsky wins battle over final cut of “Noah” with Paramount

PanARMENIAN.Net - Darren Aronofsky says he has won a battle with executives at Hollywood studio Paramount over final cut on the biblical epic Noah, The Guardian reported.

Aronofsky's big budget fantasy has been plagued by reports that Paramount bigwigs cut their own versions following negative reactions from test screenings for US religious audiences, a demographic the $130m film needs to address if it is to stand a chance of recouping its gargantuan budget. But in the new issue of the Hollywood Reporter, the director of Black Swan and The Wrestler insists that the final version audiences will get to see in multiplexes is entirely his own. His victory might be a somewhat pyrrhic one, however, since Paramount appears to have given up the fight after its own versions of the film tested no better with Christians than the director's cut.

"They tried what they wanted to try, and eventually they came back," Aronofsky told the Hollywood Reporter. "My version of the film hasn't been tested … It's what we wrote and what was greenlighted."

The film-maker admits to being hugely frustrated by the process, which took place after he gave up final cut in return for securing Noah's huge budget. "I was upset - of course," he said. "No one's ever done that to me."

Religious audiences are said to have been dismissive of scenes in which a dark-hearted Noah, played by Russell Crowe, gets drunk and ponders taking extreme measures to wipe mankind from the face of the Earth. Many complained that the film inaccurately represented the biblical story upon which it is based, despite the fact that a scene in which Noah has one too many after finding land with his Ark does appear in the Bible.

Paramount is said to have come up with as many as half a dozen cuts of the film in its efforts to find a balanced proposition. In the meantime, Aronofsky sat tight, confident that the film only worked according to his original vision.

"My guys and I were pretty sure that because of the nature of the film and how we work, there wasn't another version," said the director. "That's what I told them … the scenes were so interconnected - if you started unwinding scenes, I just knew there would be holes. I showed it to film-maker friends, and they said the DNA was set in this film."

Noah, which also stars Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins and Emma Watson, has also made waves after it emerged that Aronofsky's ambitious version features six-armed angels and Ray Winstone as the antediluvian patriarch's previously unheralded nemesis, Tubal-Cain. The film is due for release in the US on 28 March, the UK on 4 April and Australia on 27 March.

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