'Noah' Test Screenings Panned by Christian, Jewish Crowds

'Noah' Test Screenings Panned by Christian, Jewish Crowds

Hollywood is starting to embrace faith-based content, witness a wave of new projects aimed at church-going crowds.

The risk, of course, is that those projects won’t accurately reflect the source material or, worse, prove downright offensive.

So plenty is riding on Noah, the big-budget feature set to debut next year starring Russell Crowe in the title role. An early script report dubbed the film an environmental message movie, and director Darren Aronosfky poured fuel on that fire by dubbing Noah the “first environmentalist.”

Now, The Hollywood Reporter says early test screenings are yielding “troubling reactions,” including audiences with large Christian and Jewish populations. Aronofsky is bristling at the notion of re-cutting his film to placate initial concerns.

The publicity potential here is huge, and that alone might help make Noah at least a modest hit. Imagine the crush of headlines should church groups picket the movie or simply raise their collective voice to complain about the finished product.

The long-term implications, though, hardly favor Hollywood. If a movie like Noah upsets the faith-base audience, those movie goers will be far less likely to trust the entertainment industry regarding future projects.


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