Released from Paramount Contract, ‘Noah’ Bible Guru John Snowden Responds to Ken Ham, Ray Comfort, Brian Godawa

Editor’s note: John Snowden was a youth pastor in the Los Angeles area when Rob Moore of Paramount approached him about a project. Snowden came aboard Noah as Biblical advisor and we know the rest. As of April 1, Snowden is no longer under contract with Paramount pictures and now gives his full reaction to the controversies swirling around Darren Aronofsky’s film.

John Snowden on the set of NOAH.
photo: Niko Tavernise. (c) 2012 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

I knew some wouldn’t appreciate Noah’s liberties, for sure, but I didn’t expect the level of ire I’ve heard about the now apparently controversial Bible movie. Ken Ham, along with Ray Comfort, and similar disagreement from Brian Godawa, have led an all-out assault on the film. Here is my response to a few of their thoughts, which hopefully will also be an opportunity shed more light on what I firmly believe is very positive theology in the film. (Warning: There may be spoilers if you haven’t seen the film!)

Objection: Humanism!

Godawa in particular focuses on the fact that Aronofsky is allegedly a “humanist.” I put that in quotes because I don’t actually know that Darren is such. He might be. He may even “probably” be. But Godawa presumes that Aronofsky’s worldview has compelled him to tell a subversive story undermining God, and the proof is not what is in the film, but that Aronofsky is a humanist. This cynical view (and cyclical argument) assumes no person can tell any story that they don’t wholeheartedly embrace. So a humanist, for example, could never put into his film critical Christian theology such as that man was created in God’s image, because that would undermine his humanist agenda.

The only problem with this is that the film clearly holds this very important piece of theology front and center, that God created people in His image. Despite Godawa’s clearly false claim, the film repeats it many times from many characters. It is said by Noah twice, The Watchers said it once, Lamech said it, and it is perverted by Tubal-Cain. Throw in the bonus that Noah clearly says “we get our power from The Creator” and the whole humanism thesis quickly dissolves.

Objection: Veganism!

In an ongoing criticism of the film, Godawa vents that the depicted sin of humanity is all about meat eating in the film. When one reads through Genesis, there are two ways to read it regarding meat eating. First, the most literal way is that God never blessed eating anything but plants until after the flood – thus meat eating is a sin to Noah in scripture for the timing of most of the film. Or there’s the more “nuanced” way – which we’d naturally assume is Hollywood’s tendency: “Nuance it” to justify an agenda, right? Well, the nuanced way is: Sure, God never really gave permission to eat meat until after the flood, but since God did kill animals for Adam and Eve (but did He?), and since He gave Noah instruction to bring 7 of each clean animal onto the ark, and since we can read into that statement the Torah’s definition (that Noah hadn’t heard) of “clean” certainly implies kosher food laws it must mean that those animals were for eating, therefore Noah eats meat in Genesis.

For what it’s worth, I think both are actually viable ways to read the text. And since there are two ways to read into vegetarianism in Genesis, maybe we can give “Hollywood” a pass on taking the more literal interpretation as their own.

Objection: Creation From Nothing!

Creationism in the film was allegedly subverted too – because it starts with “In the beginning there was nothing.” That’s Pagan, they say! Atheists believe that!

So do I. I’ve taught the Bible plenty. My favorite part is creation and Genesis 1:1 – 12:3. The Hebrew verb for “created” in Genesis 1 is a word that is only used with God as the subject and it means to create from nothing. And in the creation sequence the film follows that very line with God speaking light into existence on “the first day and it was good.” The creation narrative in the film then goes on to name the six days one by one (albeit with an evolving-animals sequence), yet then on the sixth day, God distinctly creates humanity in his image. While I wish it said it was “very good” at that point, the fact that God created us in his image on the sixth day is very clearly in the film. Adam and Eve didn’t just passively evolve in the film. How can an atheist tell an atheistic version of creation with “The Creator” as the creator and still be pushing an atheist’s agenda?

Objection: No Rebellion Against God!

In the most head scratching criticism from Ken Ham, he suggests that the film doesn’t depict “rebellion against God.” It’s head scratching for two reasons. First, never are those words a part of Genesis 6 – 9. Second, more importantly, Tubal-Cain’s speech as the rain starts is so so overtly personifying rebellion against God: Tubal-Cain’s arrogant comparison of himself to god, giving and taking life, that men united are invincible, or that Tubal-Cain cries that he will build a new society in his own image are all manifestations of rebellion against God. Even just yelling at God to do what Tubal-Cain wants God to do images such rebellion. Tubal-Cain says to Ham “A man is not ruled by the heavens but by his will.” These are the same themes of Biblical rebellion against God that we find throughout scripture including at the Tower of Babel, which the story of Noah (and the lineage of Ham) feeds.

Ham got on the boat. Ken Ham missed it.

Objection: Environmentalism!

But the most important sin in this film is supposedly the environmental “agenda.” It’s pretty much unanimous after all, since almost every American right-wing Christian who’s seen the film has completely objected to the environmental undertones in it. It’s honestly not my favorite part either, but this is where grace (and not even that much is needed) toward a non-Christian director has to come into play.

But even with such grace, and to be clear, I’m a right-wing homeschooling Ken Ham-VBS-curriculum-teaching conservative-talk-radio-listening Christian myself (I really am), I defend the fact that the film clearly depicts primary sin as the violent arrogance of man time and again. It doesn’t depict “property rights advocates” in a bad way like Godawa claims, it depicts a bad guy subjugating his fellow man and taking the land that others are living on. It’s man’s inhumanity to man – the very thing Ken Ham alleges the film didn’t depict. And it most certainly doesn’t explain the flood as anything but man’s wickedness – which is partly environmental as depicted but is so overwhelmingly shown as violence (threatening, intimidating, killing, selling women in the mob scene, stealing, and people fighting over, yes, natural resources). You’d think from the reviews Tubal-Cain is the non-violent CEO of the Exxon corporation (yet carrying a “gun”).

But then even looking closer we can find that it would undermine its own ostensible “environmental agenda.” For example Noah scolds young Ham (played by a pastor’s kid, no less) for picking a flower, he uses environmental jargon to teach his son a lesson. An environmentalist “agenda” would leave that flower dead, destroyed, and irreplaceable. It would be the final action that sets in motion the ball rolling that will actually clinch the destruction of the entire planet – right? But that’s not the story told in that scene nor in the film as a whole. What happens in that scene is that God immediately and miraculously replaces that flower, clearly demonstrating that God is going to take care of things – just like he does in the end of this film, and in the end of Revelation 21-22. True story – an executive for one of those environmental organizations saw the film and was not happy with it. Why? Because the film showed that the “Almighty” (his word) fixed the environmental problems in the end, which is contrary to environmentalist’s messaging. There you have it.

Naameh says in the film to Noah, “We are surrounded by darkness, yet beauty survives even in this barren ground. Maybe it is a sign he comes to heal.”

God makes all things new. God restores the broken, grows gardens from deserts, and brings fertility from bareness. That is good theology, and that is in the film.

Objection: Unrighteous!

Nearly every rejection I’ve read mentions that Noah was righteous yet the film allegedly depicts Noah as anything but. Instead of being righteous he was sinful, mean, and focused on killing his grandchildren believing that God wanted him to kill off humanity. While I wouldn’t make the theological case that the Biblical Noah was blind to God saving humanity through him (nobody is claiming that’s the Bible’s position – it’s simply a movie’s dramatization of God wanting to wipe out humanity which IS in the Bible), and probably in a million years wouldn’t have dreamed up that plot for my own Noah’s Ark movie, it is clearly a choice they made in the film. But it doesn’t make Noah not righteous. Hold on, you say? You object? Let’s think it through – how can a person who almost kills children thinking it’s God’s will be righteous? Well, you can ask Abraham. How can a person be a prophet of God when he doesn’t obey God and wants people to die? Ask Jonah. How can a person be after God’s own heart but also be a murdering adulterer? Ask David. Why do we protect Noah as proto-Jesus by assuming righteous means anything other than Noah trusted God? In the film, Noah wasn’t taking pleasure in the idea of killing humanity, he was angry about it, and he was assuming it was God’s plan just like it says in Genesis 6:5-8. I also, for the record, believe that in the end the film does not communicate that it’s God’s will for Noah to kill the babies, but it is God’s will (as Ila explains) to help Noah learn God’s mercy in contrast to the stark justice he just witnessed.

Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. Where does Noah’s come from?

Objection: Paganism!

But all of these aren’t the real issue. No, as I see it, the core of the criticisms I read boil down to the fact that a person who is not of the Christian worldview is making a Bible film. Or perhaps if Christendom allowed this, why on Earth did they let him have any ability to have any creative control over his own film? Either way, I’m reading between the lines that this is what is truly and fundamentally intolerable. How could a non-Christian possibly get it right? Is there a line that would have been “right enough?” No, I don’t believe we would allow it. Rather any creative choice that strays too far from the text (if from a non-believer’s mind) should be rejected. The text stands alone – and I believe it does. Maybe that means we should actually reject any depictions of a Bible character? Or maybe only if it’s done by a non-believer. This is all sounding awfully similar to a fatwa, and it grieves me.

Wrap-Up

Let’s wrap this up. ”Love your neighbor” is our charge. That is expected of us even if we think he’s a secular liberal vegan pagan atheist humanist environmental whacko Hollywood director. Vilifying him (and effectively his whole team) will not get us any closer to God. And to me, he was personally quite a kind, thoughtful, creative, hyper-intelligent colleague with whom I had incredibly fruitful conversations. I’m thankful that he took a huge risk to tell a Bible story in a very creative way, and did it quite impressively. You don’t have to like the movie, love the movie, or see the movie. But we really need to respond better than this when we have objections.

John Snowden served as the Biblical Consultant on Noah from April 2012 until March 31, 2014. After six years of vocational youth ministry in West Los Angeles, John moved with his family to Kathmandu, Nepal, where he is a Vice President of CloudFactory, a tech company seeking to connect a million people in the developing world to basic computer work while raising them up as leaders to address poverty in their own communities. He is not related to Edward.

Read More:

Rebecca Cusey on An Invitation to Listen: How the Church Should Think about Noah

Rebecca Cusey’s Review: A Bible Movie That Doesn’t Preach or Browbeat

Rebecca Cusey’s Interview with Aronofsky and Handel

Peter Chattaway’s Extensive Noah Coverage

Video: Watch Rebecca Discuss ‘Noah’ on Huffington Post Live

There’s a lot to say about this movie. Wish they’d given me an hour!


 

Review: ‘Noah’ a Rare Bible Movie that Never Preaches, Never Browbeats

If you look closely at the image of God bringing life to Adam in the Sistine Chapel ceiling painting by Michelangelo, you’ll see the iconic work of art is not Biblically accurate.

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. – Genesis 2:7

And yet, the image of God reaching down to touch Adam, rather than breathe into his nostrils, is beautiful and true and touches the soul.

Nor was Rembrandt there at the raising of Jesus’s cross, although he painted himself into the scene in Raising of the Cross, as Jonathan Merritt points out over at RNS. His painting is not merely a retelling of the factual story but a theological statement.

Which brings us to Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, a work of art in film and a theological exploration of the ways of God and man, the likes of which have not been seen on the big screen since No Country for Old Men or The Tree of Life.

Anyone hoping to see merely an accurate portrayal of the few verses in Genesis is thinking too small. The movie is much bigger, much richer, and much more exciting than that.

It’s the kind of movie that Christians, indeed everyone, should want Hollywood to make.

Darren Aronofsky has breathed fresh life into a treasured story and made it a story everyone can enjoy and everyone can ponder.

The action starts in a predeluvian world, somewhere between the Garden of Eden and present day. In style, it’s a little bit Braveheart and a little bit Lord of the Rings. Noah, his wife, and his sons live gentle lives, at peace with man and nature. They take what they need and do their best to avoid the rest of mankind, those who would take not only what they need, but take from others as well, by force.

There’s a mystical quality to this early earth: Anthony Hopkins plays Methuselah, Noah’s grandfather and the oldest recorded man in the Bible. He is wise, very wise, and a conduit for the Creator’s mystical power. Other beings also roam this early earth. They are the nephilim, heavenly creatures entrapped on the barren planet.

The family of Noah stand alone in a humanity that has horribly, terribly lost its way. They value life. Mankind considers it cheap. They value kindness and respect. Mankind honors only strength and power.

It’s not so different, at its core, than our world now.

Except that Noah has disturbing visions. He knows the Creator is speaking to him, and the message is anything but gentle: Mankind has contaminated creation. Mankind has violated everything: Earth, animals, spiritual beings, each other.

It’s time to put a stop to it. God is going to send a flood. And Noah had better get ready. He is to build a refuge for the innocents, the animals. How can he restore the earth when he can’t perfect his love of his own family, especially his son Ham (Logan Lerman)?

Russell Crowe does a wonderful job as Noah, a decent man tasked with a huge burden. He is tortured, yes, but resolute. Jennifer Connelly, equally resolute, becomes a lovely voice of mercy in an increasingly dark story. Emma Watson, as Noah’s adopted daughter, has a surprisingly large role. She is occasionally overwrought, but still a fine actor.

Darren Aronofsky has proven himself a lyrical director in the past and this movie is no different. The images are stunning at times: when the Creator provides a forest in a wasteland with which to build the ark it not only moves the plot along but conjures images of life versus desolation, renewal versus devastation, the water of life. When the rain pours and the deeps open and the waves crash, the film recalls great art such as the woodcarvings of Gustave Doré: dark, desperate bodies writing on rocks.

For all the grief that has preceded this movie, there is no softening of the central story as often happens in Christian depictions of it. The flood is not regional, not muted, not filled with smiling animals and sunny skies. It is a cataclysmic event. It is exciting and dreadful and total.

The biggest surprise of the movie, besides Noah’s dark inner conflict, comes in the person of Tubal-Cain (Ray Winstone), a tribal leader determined to survive the flood by force of will. “I am man made in Your image,” he cries to the Creator as he sharpens a sword for battle, “Why do you not converse with me?”

He goes on: “I give life. I take life away. I am like You, am I not?” This man, this personification of the wickedness of humanity, believes in the Creator but will have his own way. He will control his own destiny.

He is not unlike Satan in Paradise Lost. 

This is heady stuff for an action movie, and action movie it is, what with all the crashing waves and clanging swords.

I was never bored in this film. I was never embarrassed because it became too corny or trite or simplistic or unprofessional. Both those happen in Christian subculture movies. But this isn’t a Christian subculture movie. It’s a mainstream movie with deep theological themes.

It is just a good movie, a good movie made for everyone, that happens to be based on a Bible story.

Rated PG-13, the film has clean language and no overt sexuality, although one storyline does involve a pregnancy. The violence is not gory. The hardest thing about this film for kids is the dark thematic material: God destroying humanity. There are plenty of images of death, both in visions and in the action. This may be very disturbing for some youngsters and is a good reason to limit the viewing to teens.

The film differs from religious movies we all know in that the viewer doesn’t feel browbeaten at the end, forced to either accept or reject some theological point of contention. Rather, it opens questions and lets them linger. For all its talk of Creator, creation, and sin, it never preaches.

Ultimately, the movie explores hope versus despair, mercy in tension with justice, second beginnings. It is dark, but the darkness makes the clearing skies all the more lovely. It is a work of art and one that I recommend seeing, for believers and nonbelievers alike.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Noah

The Flood with Noah’s Ark, one of the most famous Renaissance-High Oil Paintings painted by artist Jan Brueghel il Vecchio.

On Sunday, December 26, 2004 – you probably remember – a powerful earthquake caused a tsunami that, suddenly and without warning, ended the lives of 230,000 people in a few minutes. Before that, a cyclone whiped out 500,000 in Bangladesh. After, the Haiti earthquake killed 139,000. And so it goes, all the way back to Pompeii, to Noah.

We think we have control of our destiny, but our lives can end in a second, with an earthquake or a sinkhole or a misstep on the sidewalk.

This is the story of Noah. It is dark and horrifying.

Noah is the story of judgement, of a God who exterminated all but a tiny fragment of humanity in a devastating flood.

People wonder how a loving God could do such a thing, but as I learn more of the world, I marvel that He holds back his hand. When I think of a nine year old girl chained to a bed and forced into sexual slavery in Thailand, when I think of the suffering in North Korea, of little boys forced to carry guns and kill in Sudan, I think maybe a mass judgement isn’t such a bad idea.

Judgement carries the promise of justice, of freedom for that girl, of justice for that boy. Things being set straight.

When we think of Noah, though, we frame it as a story of redemption.

Why do we Christians usually place ourselves on the ark, as God’s faithful servant escaping His wrath as he brings judgement on the world?

We’re on God’s side. We, rightly, escape. Such assurance in our own righteousness.

But we are more likely to be the people who mock, who carry on with our lives, who scoff at the idea of getting on the ship, who wonder what those odd animals are doing but not enough to truly search, and who writhe in the water as it covers our heads.

“Noah’s Ark Cycle: 3. The Flood” Kaspar Memberger

We are all under judgement. We all live under the crest of the tsunami, ten seconds prior to the earthquake, the week before the flood.

The Biblical story we paint in cute sunshiny rainbows on nursery walls and teach to our children in sing-song.

The Lord told Noah there’s going to be a floody, floody.

Get those animals out of the muddy, muddy.

This is a story we would rather fit on a nursery wall than consider in its rawness. It is a story we would rather clap our hand to than hold our hands over our eyes weeping. Safer that way.

It is a story of our own death, our own peril under the inevitable hand of justice, the unrelenting hand of judgement, the hand that will come whether we die in our beds at a ripe age or on a normal September Tuesday in the Twin Towers.

This is what we cavalierly talk about when we talk about Noah.

It is also a story of a surviving. We frame this as victory, and it is, but it is a hard and heavy victory. When you speak to the ones who clung to a balcony as the water swirled around and claimed others, who walked out of the towers just before they fell, who sat on the right side of the airplane, they say, they know two things.

One, there was no particular reason they survived. They were not faster or smarter or stronger or better or more worthy.

Secondly, there was a reason they survived. God had a plan. A purpose for saving them.

They generally say this with a sense of heaviness, a Saving Private Ryan sense of burden. Even a touch of PTSD. When you carry the weight of those who died, you carry it forever. You carry it uneasily. We once knew this in the aftermath of World Wars, but most of us have forgotten.

This is also what we talk about when we talk about Noah. Responsibility that is unbearable. Memories that are searing. Trauma that is unexplainable. Carrying on after the unimaginable. No reason to boast. Only to fall on our knees.

“Drunkeness of Noah” by Bellini

No wonder the man drank. He was only human, which is to say weak and inadequate.

I am glad a director with the insight and dark vision of Darren Aronofsky has taken on this story. It needs to be removed from nursery walls. It needs to be de-stuffed-animalized. It needs to be woken up.

I trust the vision of a director of Black Swan, somehow, more than those of us who sing:

The sun came out and dried up the landy landy….

Everything was fine and dandy, dandy.

It was not fine. It was not dandy.

This is what we talk about. This is Noah.

The Cynical Opportunism of Anti-’Noah’ Group Faith Driven Consumer

How are these guys any different than Al Sharpton?

Faith Driven Consumer is an agency that has made lots of news pushing a hugely flawed poll that purports to show that 98% of faith-driven consumers reject Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming epic based on the Biblical Noah.

When you click through to their website, the poll is front and center.

The single question is what we in polling-conscious Washington DC call a “push poll.” It is a question framed not to find out what you really think but to form how you think.

As a Faith Driven Consumer, are you satisfied with a Biblically themed movie – designed to appeal to you – which replaces the Bible’s core message with one created by Hollywood?

That’s bad enough. As I wrote before, it’s embarrassing on many levels. 

But wait, there’s more.

Right under the question there is a field that demands you enter your name, email, phone, and address.

They want you. They want to gather the names and contact information for concerned Christians and use them for money.

They want a list. A list is a powerful thing in this world.

So “Faith Driven Consumer” has created a controversy that did not fully exist before for the sole purpose of making money off you.

This makes me very, very angry.

Because I love and respect the Christian in Minnesota and Tennessee and California who feels underserved by Hollywood. I love the church-goer who works hard and volunteers at the church homeless shelter or pregnancy center and takes care of their children and, at the end of a long day, just wants to relax in front of a movie or TV show that doesn’t mock them or their beliefs.

These people are part of what makes America the great place it is. They don’t spend a lot of time thinking about art and Hollywood and the connection of faith and moviemaking, like I do. They just want to watch The LEGO Movie with their kids or Lone Survivor on date night.

I consider it a big part of my job to honor and serve these folks.

And “Faith Driven Consumer,” taking a page out of exploiters like Sharpton and his ilk,  is scaring them and exploiting them for their own ends. For money.

That, actually, makes me sick.

Christian Response to Aronofsky’s ‘Noah:’ Downright Embarrassing

I have not seen Darren Aronofsky’s Biblically-themed epic Noah.

You have not seen Noah.

No one has seen Noah, except perhaps Aronofsky himself. It’s not finished yet. (Although an early version was shown to test audiences, yes.)

Yet, the self-appointed forces of Biblical Orthodoxy are coming out against it.

Just because, you know….Bible.

As Peter Chattaway posted, the same PR firm that campaigned for Duck Dynasty during the recent Culture War moment is now riling the faithful up against Aronofsky’s Noah, a MOVIE NO ONE HAS SEEN.

They use this shockingly, horrifyingly, embarrassingly leading question:

“As a Faith Driven Consumer, are you satisfied with a Biblically themed movie – designed to appeal to you – which replaces the Bible’s core message with one created by Hollywood?”

When the respondent inevitably answers “no,” the poll result is taken as a hit against the film WHICH NO ONE HAS SEEN.

No wonder Hollywood wants to steer clear of faith audiences. With crazy stunts like this, who can blame them?

It’s just embarrassing. The movie may be good, it may be bad, it most likely is a mix.

It may challenge our cute, fuzzy understanding of the story. It may even challenge our faith.

That’s what art is supposed to do.

And, let me tell you, “Faith Driven Consumers,” if you associate the story of Noah with adorable animals smiling under a sunny rainbow, you’re reading the story wrong. It’s the story of one man, one single man, chosen with his wife and descendants, to survive a mass extinction. It’s dark, horrible judgement and a story with which believers should wrestle.

Not one they should put up on a nursery wall.

If you’re ok with a simplistic, two-sentence explanation of the Noah story, you’re hiding from the deeper, darker, richer, and ultimately life-giving aspects of the Bible.

But whether the story follows our unchallenged idea of what “Biblically accurate” is, whether it actually goes against the Christian faith (Aronofsky is Jewish, and they had the story first), or whether it is exactly what you’ve always imagined…..

We just don’t know.

So stop fighting against something we don’t know about yet.

Please.

You’re embarrassing me as a Christian believer.

If you want to know more about the Noah movie, we’ve been covering it extensively.

image: Gustav Dore woodcut h/t Dave Lilley

First Look: Aronofsky Builds his Ark for ‘Noah’

Aronofsky is clearly building an epic ark for an epic Bible movie, posting on Twitter a picture of a gigantic construction site. It’s the place where he’s piecing together his ark for his story about the Biblical Noah’s flood.

He Tweeted this photo with the message: “I dreamt about this since I was 13. And now it’s a reality. Genesis 6:14 ‪#noah

Genesis 6:14 says: So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.

Noah stars Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, and Anthony Hopkins. It is due to open March of 2014 and is currently in production.

For more on the movie:

Is the cast too white?

Anthony Hopkins cast as Methuselah

Is Hollywood getting Friendly with Faith?

 

Update: We don’t want to toot our own horn – well, yes, maybe we do. We beat the big players, Deadline Hollywood,  The Hollywood Reporter, and just about everybody else but Aronofsky himself to bring you the first picture of the ark under construction. And we plan to keep doing it. Patheos is on top of movie news, especially when it has a religious hook.

Guess what? All your ancestors are white: Aronofsky Casts All Europeans for ‘Noah’

Do you look like this?

That’s the Biblical Noah and, um, Mrs. Noah, as cast in Darren Aronofsky’s movie based on the Biblical story of Noah, due out next March.  Russell Crowe will play the titular character and Jennifer Connelly his wife.

New casting news from Deadline.com has Noah’s sons cast as Douglas Booth as Shem, Logan Lerman as Ham, and Saorise Ronan as (perhaps) a love interest for one of the sons. They look like this:

Booth

Lerman

Ronan

They’re all lovely, beautiful people and fine actors. But, hold the phone, there’s a problem.

Isn’t something missing? Like, maybe, melanin?

Traditionally, Shem is supposed to be the father of the Semites (Jewish people, Arabs, etc) and Ham of Africans and the third son Japheth of the Europeans. (I’ve always wondered where Asians were supposed to have come from. I’m sure some Biblical scholar could tell me.) Japheth has not been cast, but apparently his genes were the strong ones in the family.

That boy don’t look Jewish and that other boy don’t look black.

They look like the scions of a WASPy country club, or maybe members of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Booth is the only one without blue eyes. I don’t consider that diversity.

Target ads are more diverse. Heck, toothpaste ads are more diverse.

I know, I know, it’s just a movie. And movies are hard to cast.

In some ways, we can’t take the stories too seriously.

On the other hand, we must take them very seriously indeed, in all their complexity.

We all know there has been centuries racism and hurt associated with these origin stories, especially with the supposed justification of the mistreatment of “Hamitic” peoples.

We don’t want that all over again. But is the answer to leave non-Europeans out of the story all together?

Along with Adam, Noah is described as the father of all humanity in the Bible and many people believe this to be true. Shouldn’t he, and his family, look a little bit more like the breadth and diversity of humankind?

Read more: Urban Daily proposes Black Moses for Spielberg’s Biblical Epic

Aronofsky to Take on George Washington

Not content with bringing Biblical patriarch Noah to the big screen, Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) may also take on Washington. George Washington, that is.

Variety reports that the director is attached to produce and direct a project based on the Father of Our Country and General of the Revolutionary War.

Plot details are being kept under wraps, but sources tell Variety that the script is more of an “Unforgiven”-like tale rather than a straight historical drama.

Well, I’m game, just as long as the General doesn’t devolve in a spiral of madness as he seeks to not only dance the evil Black Swan but become the evil Black Swan.

That would be a bit much.

Par eyes Aronofsky’s Washington pic – Entertainment News, EXCLUSIVE, Media – Variety.

Russell Crowe likely to Launch Ship as Noah in Aronofsky Biblical Epic

Does this man look like the Biblical Noah to you? Deadline is reporting that Darren Aronofsky, who flirted with Oscars last year for his Natalie Portman ballet movie “Black Swan” is close to signing Russell Crowe as the title character in his movie based on the Biblical Noah.

The movie is rumored to be dark and comic-bookish in tone, not a traditional Biblical epic from the 1950s.

From Aronofsky? Of course. “Black Swan” wasn’t exactly “The Nutcracker,” after all.

Deadline also reports that Liam Neeson is in talks for another role.

*Russell Crowe photo from MySpace


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