Paramount has added an “explanatory message” to its Biblical epic, “Noah,” at the request of a religious broadcasters group, the studio and the group announced on Thursday.
The decision followed an appeal by Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of National Religious Broadcasters, to 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, the statement said.
The statement added to the film is:
“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.”
Again, it reads as a compliment to the film (maybe a slightly back-handed one), but what’s the point? Of course there’s artistic license; of course it’s inspired by the story of Noah; of course the story can be found in Genesis (as if a flummoxed viewer needs a reference to measure the film against immediately). The Biblical passage isn’t that long so it’s going to have to be beefed up creatively. Lest anyone forget, The Passion of the Christ, had demons and Satan running around the premises, additions that came out of Mel Gibson’s imagination and churches everywhere beseeched passersby to watch that movie on their exterior signs for months.
And anyway, Noah is a different cat than JC. You have to be protective of Jesus on film, because what He is is what’s important; He’s The Man and aside from characterization tweaks on the margins, any big deviations will look hacky and likely be offensive.
Noah? He’s a big deal because of what God made him, and how he slotted into the bigger story of the Creator’s do-over pitch. So let’s not go overboard (so to speak) with the safeguarding. It seems like the film is tackling the weighty themes around the story with verve and talent and, personally, I’ll take that over a sequel to Fireproof any day of the week.