As Godless and liberal as everyone says Hollywood is, they’re pretty quick to genuflect before the altar of organized religion whenever there’s money on the line. Just days after Russell Crowe tweeted a screening invite at the Pope, Paramount has added a disclaimer to their Noah marketing “as a gesture of good will” to religious groups who don’t like the idea of someone besides Kirk Cameron telling Bible stories.
In a gesture of good will toward religious groups, Paramount has agreed to alter the marketing materials for it’s upcoming Biblical epic Noah to make clear that it is a creative rather than a literal adaptation of The Bible story, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.
Future marketing materials for the film — including an upcoming online trailer, the film’s website, all print and radio ads, as well as a percentage of the film’s online and broadcast ads, will contain the following message: “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.”
The move comes after an appeal from Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of The National Religious Broadcasters. Earlier in the week, Johnson led a panel at his group’s International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, where clips from the film were shown. The panel discussed the film’s adherence to and departures from Biblical text.
Johnson said while there were a few creative liberties taken with the story, he has given the film his blessing, predicting, “Many people will go to this film and enjoy it.” [THR]
The holy grail for Hollywood studios is being able to release a big-budget, mainstream release like Noah and still have the kind of support that home-grown religious movies get from the Bible thumper crowd. Like the pastor who spent $24,000 to rent out a theater for Son of God. Imagine if they did that for us! Hollywood thinks. It’s been tried before – see: Almighty, Evan – and has yet to work. I can see why they’d think people who believe that there’s such a thing as a “literal translation” of the Bible would be gullible, but the fundamentalist crowd tends mainly to support what they see as their own. And good luck getting them to believe Noah is from one of their own, when it was directed by a guy whose last film was about lesbian ballerinas scissoring each other on ecstasy.
I hope that’s what they mean by “creative adaptation,” by the way, and that it’s not just three hours of Russell Crowe bellowing at antelopes.