It’s a good day to be a fan of avant garde films with a religious tint directed by talented auteurs who sometimes have trouble getting their visions to the screen; Darren Aronofsky’s latest passion project, Noah, has been picked up by Paramount and New Regency. (For those unfamiliar, this film is based off the biblical story of a man who is ordered by God to build an ark to rescue two of every kind of animal from a coming flood.) Even better news? The studios seem to be looking to fast-track the film for production in spring of next year, meaning that fans of the director (like me) might be spared the usual dance of joy, diminishing joy, despair, and then outright hopelessness as another project falls apart. This should be a familiar waltz for anyone who knows about Aronofsky’s original plans for The Fountain, or Flicker, or Batman Year One, or the next Wolverine movie…
Let’s not dwell on those things, though; let’s focus on the positive. Paramount and New Regency seem fairly serious about this project, not just because of their hopeful production date, but because they’ve brought on the writer behind Gladiator, John Logan, to do some rewrite’s on the original script by Aronofsky and Ari Handel. This should guarantee a grand, epic sweep that should balance nicely with what will surely be a deeply personal story from Aronofsky’s side.
From an artistic standpoint, though, this news is great for a whole slew of different reasons. I’ve always found Aronofsky to be at his best when he is going for cerebral and pseudo-religious impact, a la The Fountain and his first film, Pi. Aronofsky has always struck me as a filmmaker’s filmmaker, someone whose passion and personal interest in a story can really be felt in every frame of his work. While his other films like The Wrestler and Black Swan are fantastic in their own right, they don’t feel as intensely, earnestly personal as his others. There’s just something I’m not getting in them that I have come to expect from Aronofsky. I am hoping that the artistic and financial cache he has earned from Black Swan will mean that we see plenty more of these passion projects in the future.