A picture of Pope Francis alongside the creative stars of Noah, director Darren Aronofsky and Russell Crowe, would have gone a long way toward combating the fear that the film takes too many liberties with the source material.
It wasn’t mean to be.
Pope Francis canceled a tentatively planned meeting with the Hollywood stars and Paramount Vice Chair Rob Moore, according to Variety.
The meeting was never fully confirmed, but tentatively on the calendar for Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. in the VIP section so the Pope could figuratively lend a blessing to the $125 million Biblical epic. The reason the Vatican cancelled it, according to a source, is over concerns word would leak, causing a spectacle as Crowe and Aronofsky landed in Rome.
It’s the latest bit of sour news for the film, which hits theaters March 28. Religious groups who have seen cuts of the film have been mostly unkind regarding its fidelity to the source and spiritual nature. Aronofsky originally envisioned Noah, played by Crowe, to be the world’s first environmentalist, a confession that didn’t help faith-based audiences who crave a more spiritual, less green interpretation of the story.