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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Anthony Hopkins to play Methuselah in Aronofsky’s Noah

Darren Aronofsky has been talking about making a movie about Noah and the Flood for so long, I actually mentioned it several times at this blog before I went on my two- or three-year hiatus (most recently here, back in December 2008).

But in the past year or so — following the critical, box-office and awards success of Black Swan — Aronofsky has been making his dream a reality, with A Beautiful Mind co-stars Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly set to play Noah and his wife, plus Douglas Booth as Shem, Logan Lerman as Ham, Ray Winstone as Noah’s “nemesis” and Emma Watson as “Ila, a young woman who develops a close relationship with Noah’s son, Shem.” (Is she any relation to the Ila of Hindu tradition whose father, Manu, “saved mankind from the universal flood“? We shall see.)

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