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Noah' Movie's Bible Controversy Leads Paramount to Embrace 'Explanatory Message

"...a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide."

A screen shot of Noah's Ark (Image source: Paramount's YouTube)

Amid ongoing controversy over the theological themes depicted in Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming film “Noah,” Paramount Pictures has decided to add an "explanatory message" to future marketing materials letting prospective viewers know that “artistic license has been taken.”

An upcoming online trailer, the movie’s official website and all print and radio spots, among other advertisements, will contain the following caveat:

"The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis."

This language can already be found on the film’s official website.

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters, called for such language during a panel discussion Sunday night at the NRB International Christian Media Convention, as TheBlaze previously reported.

Johnson said that explanatory language would help “audiences better understand that the feature film is a dramatization of the major scriptural themes and not a line-by-line retelling of the Bible story,” according to a press release distributed by National Religious Broadcasters Thursday evening.

Johnson explained his decision to push for such language, noting that while the “Noah” film is powerful, he wanted to ensure that audiences know that the motion picture adaptation is not a word-for-word retelling of the biblical story.

"Because of the quality of the production and acting, viewers will enjoy watching main themes from the Noah story depicted in a powerful way on the big screen," Johnson said in the statement. "However, my intent in reaching out to Paramount with this request was to make sure everyone who sees this impactful film knows this is an imaginative interpretation of scripture, and not literal.”

Rob Moore, vice-chairman of Paramount Pictures, is also quoted as saying that the company has worked to ensure that audiences know about the film before deciding whether to buy tickets. He added that Paramount is “very proud of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.”

As TheBlaze previously reported, a Sunday panel at the NRB International Christian Media Convention was moderated by Johnson and included Hollywood filmmaker and media consultant Phil Cooke and John Snowden, who was a biblical adviser for the “Noah” film.

All three acknowledged that there has been contention over the movie and expressed varying levels of support for the motion picture. There were no representatives from Paramount Pictures, the film company reported to have been embroiled in a battle over final cut rights with Aronofsky.

A screen shot of Noah's Ark (Image source: Paramount's YouTube) A screen shot of Noah's Ark (Image source: Paramount's YouTube)

With tension at the center of much of the publicity surrounding the movie, the presence of “Noah” at the International Christian Media Convention was notably different from the representation of other Hollywood films.

“Noah” wasn’t screened — an oddity considering that it seemed to be a good venue for simply showing the film and cutting down on the debate. And it was seemingly the only movie for which a special event was set aside to educate Christians about the production process.

Repeated attempts by TheBlaze to speak with Aronofsky about the theological contents of the film have not received a response.

Read more about the ongoing debate here.


Featured image via Paramount Pictures' YouTube

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