Darren Aronofsky’s $100 million Noah’s Ark movie gets greenlit

Today, Paramount and New Regency put out a press release saying they were partnering for Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, with screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator) coming on to re-write the script by Aronofsky and Ari Handel. The release doesn’t say anything about budget, but back in June, Deadline reported that Paramount was looking for a partner on the project, describing it as a “sprawling fantasy epic that will cost north of $100 million.” Presumably it still is, and New Regency is the partner. Keep in mind, Black Swan cost about $12 million, and Aronofsky biggest budget thus far was $35 million for The Fountain.

Aronofsky has been talking about the Noah project for years, which supposedly all started with a poetry contest he won at age 13 for a poem about the end of the world as seen through the eyes of Noah (he probably got as much pussy as me at that age). Anyway, SlashFilm pulled a few quotes from older interviews where Aronofsky discussed the idea:

“It’s the end of the world and it’s the second most famous ship after the Titanic. So I’m not sure why any studio won’t want to make it,” said Aronofsky. “I think it’s really timely because it’s about environmental apocalypse which is the biggest theme, for me, right now for what’s going on on this planet. So I think it’s got these big, big themes that connect with us. Noah was the first environmentalist. He’s a really interesting character. Hopefully they’ll let me make it.” [Aronofsky in 2008][From February 2011] In an interview with MovieWeb, Aronofsky hinted that a PG rating was not in store for the film, should it ever get made.

“[He was the] first environmentalist. [The] first person to plant vineyards, drink wine and get drunk. I was stunned going back and realizing how dirty some of those stories are. They’re not PG in any way. They’re all about sleeping with your brother’s sister who gives you a child who you don’t know. That kind of stuff got censored out of our religious upbringing.”

So hopefully it will stay R-rated as it was conceived even with the huge budge, and the studios will resist the temptation (BIBLICAL PUN!) to turn it PG-13, even though they’re notoriously skittish about that sort of thing. It just wouldn’t be a Darren Aronofsky movie without incest and scissoring.