Exclusive: Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel on how they developed the script and where they really got the name for Emma Watson’s character in Noah

My interviews with Darren Aronofsky: 1998 | 2014 pt 1 | 2014 pt 3 | 2014 pt 4

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of seeing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and speaking to both Aronofsky and his co-writer/co-producer Ari Handel immediately after the screening. The following is part two of our conversation. You can read part one here. The film comes out Thursday night.

I’ve heard multiple times about the poem that you wrote, was that high school or is that late elementary, or–?

Darren Aronofsky: That was seventh grade, so I was like 12, 13, probably.

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Noah video round-up: a new clip, a new music video, and soundbites from faith leaders and filmmakers alike

The movie officially comes out in North America on Friday, but plenty of theatres will be showing it Thursday night. So with three days to go until the film comes out, the studio has released another clip from Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. You can check it out below the jump, along with a new (and possibly unauthorized) music video for the theme song that Patti Smith wrote for the film, as well as some interview clips with the filmmakers and with “faith leaders” who have endorsed the film.

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Exclusive: Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel on the meaning of “righteousness”, whether villains can believe in God, and the hurdles they faced when pitching Noah

My interviews with Darren Aronofsky: 1998 | 2014 pt 2 | 2014 pt 3 | 2014 pt 4

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of seeing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and speaking to both Aronofsky and his co-writer/co-producer Ari Handel immediately after the screening. The following is part one of our conversation. The film comes out Thursday night.

I don’t know if I should admit this, but a copy of an early draft of your script drifted my way, so when I read it, I was struck by the justice and mercy theme, and it was really interesting to see that here in the finished film.

Darren Aronofsky: Well, that was a big part of the movie for us. I think when Ari and I started working on the project and we started reading the Bible over and over again, there’s this term where they call Noah “righteous,” and so what does that word mean? People sort of have a sense of what the word means, but there’s a lot of ways to define it when you really try to figure it out, and so we started talking to a lot of people and looking it up and tried to understand it, and a lot of the different theologians and scholars that talk about it, we came upon this idea that it was a perfect balance of justice and mercy.

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Noah news round-up: a good first day in Mexico, the filmmakers talk about fear, grief, and literalism, and more

More good news for Noah from the foreign market: the film, which already had a strong opening in South Korea a couple days ago, had a similarly strong opening in Mexico yesterday. In both cases, the studio says the movie’s opening days were on par with the opening days for Gravity in those markets.

Several reviews of the film went online Thursday night (or Friday morning, if you live on the east coast) — you can read my own first review here — and it currently has a 73% score at Rotten Tomatoes.

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Noah news round-up: novelizations, ratings, and more

Let’s keep this one brief.

The big Noah news today, of course, is that three books based on the film are now available for purchase: a regular novelization of the movie, a junior novelization that focuses on Noah’s daughter-in-law Ila, and a graphic novel that is based on an early draft of the script and is thus somewhat different from the movie.

If you can’t wait for the movie to learn all its spoilers, or if you want to study how the script evolved from the version that produced the graphic novel to the version that produced the novelizations, well, you’ve now got plenty of reading material to work with!

To help you get started, MTV has posted an excerpt from the junior novelization, Ila’s Story, which introduces the character as a wounded and orphaned little girl; it also introduces those fallen angels known as the Watchers. No pictures, alas.

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Noah news round-up: snubs from church leaders, props from Christians who have seen the film, and more

The European promo tour for Darren Aronofsky’s Noah soldiers on. Following the film’s Berlin premiere on Thursday, the filmmakers went to Madrid for another premiere tonight, while Russell Crowe attended his first Noah premiere at the other end of Europe, in Moscow; he had missed the previous events because he was shooting a movie in Turkey.

Alas, the European tour has already encountered one hiccup of sorts: Variety reported today that the Vatican has cancelled tentative plans for a photo op that would have featured Pope Francis and a few of the filmmakers, including Crowe and Aronofsky.

Crowe, via Twitter, had been openly asking the Pope to screen the film for a few weeks now, and the Vatican reportedly gave the idea enough consideration to set some time aside for a meeting on Wednesday; but they eventually decided against it because Crowe’s presence would be too distracting to the Vatican’s other visitors.

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