The following press release found its way to my inbox last night.
HOLLYWOOD, CA (October 3, 2011) - Paramount Pictures and New Regency Productions jointly announced today that Academy Award nominated director Darren Aronofsky will direct the feature film Noah, with Academy Award nominated screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator) coming aboard to re-write the script by Aronofsky & Ari Handel. Aronofsky and Scott Franklin will produce the movie.
“Since I was a kid, I have been moved and inspired by the story of Noah and his family’s journey. The imaginations of countless generations have sparked to this epic story of faith. It’s my hope that I can present a window into Noah’s passion and perseverance for the silver screen,” said Aronofsky.
This is pretty huge cinema news. If you’ve followed Aronofsky at all, you know about his relentless and dark artistry (Pi and Requiem for a Dream), his metaphoric and quasi-autobiographical resurrection of the legendary Mickey Rourke’s career (The Wrestler), and his recent Oscar nominations (Black Swan). What you may not remember is his rather Noah-like obsession in getting The Fountain made… and obsession which, at the time, made him almost untouchable in Hollywood. Conventional wisdom in 2006 was that Aronofsky would bankrupt you.
Well, now it’s 2011, a decade after the indie production The Passion surprised the bigs. Two years after The Blind Side blindsided industry wags. The year of Soul Surfer, Dolphin Tale, and Courageous. The year that The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur get their glorious re-releases on home video. The year that Mel Gibson gets greenlit to produce a big-budget film about Judah Maccabee: the project that was, long ago, supposed to be the follow-up to Passion.
And Noah is getting greenlit to the reported tune of $130 million. Directed by an arthouse auteur.
It’s feeling like 1956 all over again. Is Hollywood making movies for the “fly-over states” again?
Check out this screenshot from a now-private YouTube video of Aronofsky’s graphic novel adaptation of the story: