Noah’s Ark: Coming soon to a theatre near you

The sweet animals all boarded Noah's Ark two by two, the lion laid down with the lamb.

I was going to ask PZ about this, but on second thought and on the off chance he hasn’t seen it, I worried about his blood pressure and workload in the middle of the first round of exams. Instead I’ll tell you! Apparently our purportedly liberal friends in Hollywood have had a great idea, a full length, full FX, Big Screen adaptation of …. The Noah’s Ark legend!

Paramount and New Regency have agreed to fund Darren Aronofsky’s $150 million epic based on the biblical story of Noah’s Ark. Gladiator and The Aviator writer John Logan – he, uh, prefers you don’t mention Star Trek: Nemesis – has been hired to rewrite Aronofsky and Ari Handel’s script.

Now, now, I know, there will be much gnashing of skeptical teeth. But it’s not like Hollywood has been particularly helpful to science, or terribly concerned about portraying it accurately up until this sudden, uncharacteristic stab in the back. Think about the recent travesties Armageddon, Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and those are just a few A-list movies, where real money was ostensibly spent on science-y special effects (I sure hope it wasn’t spent on Bruce Willis’ or Ben Affleck’s acting). Not to mention other legend based movies like Sinbad, Aladdin, and Thor. The list of b-listers and worse goes on forever, Plan 9 From Outer Space, Catwomen From Mars …. It’s depressing to think that this is the same film industry that gave us crust shifting and land cyclones driven by cold engines. Science be Praised!

So everyone stay calm, take it in stride, man, take it in stride. Think of the jobs. And the fun we’ll have with reviews.


  1. thirdmonkey says

    Oh please! Let there be dinosaurs! Please!

    I would pay full price to see it (in 3D!) if there are scenes showing Noah using dinosaurs to build the ark.

  2. says

    Yeah, we will have to see this movie. I’m sure some of you guys or gals could come up with some sort of error counting game, preferably one that doesn’t involve drinking for every error, as that could put us in the ER with alcohol poisoning.

  3. The Lorax says

    I’m waiting for the movie to be hailed by Creationists, then completely bomb in the theaters due to complete lack of intelligent details and being nothing more than a long-winded sermon with cheap special effects, then be auctioned off for an old song in a vain attempt to recoup the losses.

    ‘Cause it’s not like THAT’S happened before, amirite?

  4. Eric R says

    It really needs to be 100% honest to Ken Ham’s creationist museum’s dictates showing vegetarian lions and tyrannosaurs (pictures noah riding a triceratops pulling a load of lumber to the construction site)and it would be best if it took itself really seriously.

    A movie like that would be so soaked in “teh stoopid” that even your average xian would come out laughing at its preposterousness.

  5. says

    You’d think Eric, you’d think. But this is the same industry that gave us Unobtanium, crust shifting, and “land cyclones” powered by “cold” engines. It’s hard to imagine what might be judged as too stupid.

  6. Paulino says

    I hope they show the nephilins, and maybe Noah fending them off the ark swinging a big ol’ gopher cudgel, with the flood of doom approaching, and screaming “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!!”

  7. says

    The bible and other source books of mythology have been the basis of many good movies. Not necessarily *believable* movies, but good entertainment nonetheless.

    For example, I consider The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur very entertaining – no where near as good as the Lord of the Rings trilogy nor Star Wars trilogy (Episodes IV-VI, not the recent ones), but still entertaining. I also enjoy listening to the (original Broadway) soundtrack to Jesus Christ Superstar. However you won’t see me genuflecting or following any other christian OCD maneuver just because I watched a movie based on the biblical myths, just as I have not started walking around barefoot, smoking a pipe, and moving into a home built into a hill. (Come to think of it, those latter items could be fun, whereas the former ones are simply useless motions.)

    So, let them make Teh Ark. It will just be slightly less realistic than Armageddon.

  8. says

    They will need a lot of animal actors for this one. And as many Hollywood directors can tell you, animals can be very difficult to work with, no matter the training.
    But if the bible story is to be believed, Noah pulled it off without a hitch, using some huge number (thousands? millions?) of untrained, wild animals. And did it all with a crew of eight.
    Uh huh. Right.

  9. Eric R says

    You’d think Eric, you’d think. But this is the same industry that gave us Unobtanium, crust shifting, and “land cyclones” powered by “cold” engines. It’s hard to imagine what might be judged as too stupid

    But your examples were science fiction (wink-wink) not the Gods-honest-truth (pun intended).

    Ok perhaps I was being too generous to the average xian. All of my xian friends though are reasonable enough people, I have to believe if a “noahs ark” movie came out with noah herding vegitarian lions and using dinosaurs in the construction of the big boat, and it took itself documentary serious they would have to admit……ok…nevermind.

  10. Aliasalpha says

    Oh Star Trek Nemesis wasn’t THAT bad and it was an unquestionable masterpiece compared to the piece of shit reboot that followed it

    As for this movie… can you get your money back in the cinema over there if you walk out early? Maybe go, take a tally of all the animals they leave out up to the halfway mark & then demand your money back on the grounds of false advertising because they left out marmosets, mopokes & the entire marsupial classification

  11. stacy says

    Aronofsky is a fine director. Maybe he’ll be able to do something interesting with the story.

    In terms of his vision, Aronofsky revealed, “I don’t think it’s a very religious story. I think it’s a great fable that’s part of so many different religions and spiritual practices. I just think it’s a great story that’s never been on film.”

  12. Stevarious says

    This is how I imagine a scene from the movie.

    It’s three days into the downpour. The village around them is already flooded, but the boat is so heavy that the water has not quite gotten deep enough for them to start floating yet. Around the boat, the tips of the stone age huts still protrude here and there from the rising water.
    Noah leans over the edge of the ark, rain pouring down around him. Clustered around the boat are the bloated corpses of the evil villagers we spent the first 20 minutes or so of the movie getting to know. Pan across them – there is the guy who threw dung at Noah, complaining about the mess that all these animals were making of their village. There is the guy who tried to rape Noah’s daughter. There is the woman who mocked Noah the whole time he constructed the ark. All of them, righteously slain by god’s righteous rising waters of death.
    Mixed in with this cluster of corpses, is, of course, these people’s children. Sure there was probably a scene earlier on where they tried to establish that the kids were assholes too. But did they really deserve to drown, just because they called Noah names and made fun of him? Hell, yeah! God’s justice is perfect!
    And Noah looks up, as he hears a voice. Clinging to the top of the tallest building in the village – of course, the evil pagan temple where they had their filthy sex-filled pagan ceremonies – is one of the temple prostitutes. In her arm is her infant child, mewling quietly as the cold rain spatters her tiny face.
    There is a two-second flashback – early in the movie, there was a story arc where it turns out that one of Noah’s sons is actually the father, but Noah convinced his son to turn away from the pagan gods. The flashback is of the scene where the prostitute cast scorn on Noah’s son as she refused to turn back to the ‘right’ god with him and the music (soulful up till now) turns dark, reminding us that she deserves her fate.
    The prostitute, seeing that she has caught Noah’s eye finally, holds out her tiny baby. “Please,” she cries, barely audible in the sounds of the storm. “Please, just take my baby. I deserve this punishment… but she is innocent! She is your granddaughter! Please!”
    Noah pauses to consider for a moment, then shakes his head. “She is tainted by your sin. She deserves this fate just as you do. GOD commands it!” he intones, in his deep, commanding baritone.
    Sobbing, the prostitute sinks into the water, her strength gone as her last possible hope is dashed. She has given in to her just fate. Mercifully, the camera cuts away… but the cries of the infant are still heard to cut off abruptly.
    Noah, with powerful, confident strides, goes back into the ark. His voice trails behind him, “Truly, your wrath is just, Lord.” There is no quaver in his voice to betray a hint of humanity – Noah, as God’s chosen one, is above such frailties.

  13. keithb says

    Aronofsky needs to do some research, besides the Epic I mentioned, it was also a segment of Fantasia 2000 with Donald Duck (!) as Noah.

  14. Stevarious says

    Also, it totally has been done before already.

    NBC did a miniseries in 1999, with Jon Voight as Noah.
    There was no scene in it like I described above. In the miniseries, perversely, the evil people survived the flood by tying the remains of their huts together to make a big floating blob of wood. They attacked the ark towards the end of the movie because they were starving, and Jon Voight and crew had to heroically fight them off.
    At the time I thought that was incredibly stupid. Now I think it was incredibly stupid for completely different reasons.


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