Darren Aronofsky, the filmmaking wunderkind behind Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream, is hard at work on a huge-budget film adaptation of the Noah story—and it will come as no surprise to his legions of fans that it all sounds thoroughly weird. Far from the kindly, bearded zookeeper of past depictions, Aronofsky’s Noah (a perfectly cast Russell Crowe) is more of a Mad Max-esque, battle-hardened warrior, a lone holdout of righteousness in a world gone to some deeply terrifying bad place.
This Noah will deal with the Nephilim (the mysterious offspring of human women and the “sons of God” mentioned in Genesis), and his ark looks to be more like a last fortress of decency than the cartoony lifeboat you remember from those Sunday School flannelgraphs. The movie also stars Emma Watson and Jennifer Connelly, and Aronofsky gets points for authenticity in casting the world’s oldest actor, Sir Anthony Hopkins, as the world’s oldest man, Methuselah.
Authenticity sure is the name of the game for this film. The elephantine replica of the arky-arky was stationed in New York’s Oyster Bay during Hurricane Sandy’s landfall. The ark was battered but remains sound, and our modern-day deluge only set production back a few days. The movie hits theaters March 2014.